Chapter

Adult Age Differences in Episodic Memory: Item-Specific, Relational, and Distinctive Processing

Rebekah E. Smith

in Distinctiveness and Memory

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169669
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847563 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169669.003.0012
Adult Age Differences in Episodic Memory: Item-Specific, Relational, and Distinctive Processing

Show Summary Details

Preview

Younger adults often perform better than older adults do on memory tests. Researchers interested in these age-associated performance differences have at times drawn concepts from the “mainstream” research (that is, research that focuses on younger adults) and applied these concepts to explain why older adults frequently do not remember as well as younger adults. This chapter looks at attempts to explain age differences in episodic memory as a function of relational and item-specific processing, and in some cases both kinds of processing. The focus is on studies comparing intentional retrospective memory in healthy younger (generally less than 30 years of age) and older adults (generally 60 years of age and older). The chapter primarily addresses three questions. First, are there age-related differences in item-specific processing? Second, are there age-related differences in relational processing? And finally, are there age-related differences in distinctive processing? The chapter concludes by relating three of the four points concerning distinctiveness raised by R. Reed Hunt to the literature on memory and aging.

Keywords: age differences; older adults; younger adults; aging; item-specific processing; relational processing; distinctive processing; episodic memory

Chapter.  13258 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.