Journal Article

Moderation of Older Adults' Retrieval Reluctance Through Task Instructions and Monetary Incentives

Dayna R. Touron, Elizabeth T. Swaim and Christopher Hertzog

in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 62, issue 3, pages P149-P155
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1079-5014
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-5368 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/62.3.P149
Moderation of Older Adults' Retrieval Reluctance Through Task Instructions and Monetary Incentives

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Previous research using a noun-pair lookup task indicates that older adults delay strategy shift from visual scanning to memory retrieval despite adequate learning, and that this “retrieval reluctance” is related to subjective choice factors. Age differences in spontaneous response criteria, with older adults valuing accuracy and young adults valuing speed, might account for this phenomenon. The present experiment manipulates instructions and reward contingencies to test the flexibility of response criteria and strategy preferences. Task instructions conditions equally focused on speed and accuracy, encouraged retrieval use as a method toward fast responding, or offered monetary incentives for fast retrieval-based performance. Results indicate that older adults in the incentives condition shifted to retrieval earlier than those without incentives, bolstering the argument that reliance on retrieval is volitional.

Journal Article.  6226 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing ; Geriatric Medicine

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