The roles of perceived and actual control in memory for spoken language

Elizabeth A.L. Stine, Margie E. Lachman, Arthur Wingfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of personal control on memory for spoken language were investigated by allowing younger and older adults to take actual control of the input condi tions of recorded narratives under one condition and requiring them to listen without interruption in another. Subjects were also administered the ADEPT- PIC, a measure of control beliefs in intellectual contexts, as well as a working memory span task measuring the ability to hold and manipulate linguistic information simultaneously in memory. Older adults were less likely than younger adults to take actual control of the speech input, although age differ ences in perceived control were minimal, suggesting that actual and perceived control are relatively independent influences in the determination of age differ ences in cognitive performance. These constructs were, nevertheless, interre lated: perceived control was a stronger predictor of prose memory when no ac tual control was available. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of working memory for mediating the relationship between per ceived control and discourse processing. Implications for older adults in in structional contexts are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-349
Number of pages19
JournalEducational Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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