Age Differences in Predictions and Performance on a Cued Recall Task

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Psychology and Aging


American Psychological Association

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

The notion that older adults fail to use optimal encoding strategies in memory tasks because of a deficit in memory monitoring was examined in a cued recall task. Participants were given different types of descriptors (initial letters, rhyme, category) for each word during encoding, and these descriptors were later given as cues at recall. Participants also predicted the likelihood of recalling each item. Age differences were found in recall performance, but there were no age differences in average predictions. However, the prediction ratings given by younger adults showed a greater difference between words recalled and words not recalled in the subsequent test than did the ratings of the older adults. Differences in recall associated with different types of processing were predicted poorly by all of the participants, but the relative recallability of specific words was well assessed by both age groups. We concluded that a memory monitoring deficit is not likely to be responsible for age differences in memory.