Journal Article

Charlie Brown Versus Snow White: The Effects of Descriptiveness on Young and Older Adults' Retrieval of Proper Names

Kethera A. Fogler and Lori E. James

in The Journals of Gerontology: Series B

Published on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America

Volume 62, issue 4, pages P201-P207
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 1079-5014
Published online July 2007 | e-ISSN: 1758-5368 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/62.4.P201
Charlie Brown Versus Snow White: The Effects of Descriptiveness on Young and Older Adults' Retrieval of Proper Names

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The nondescriptive nature of proper names has been suggested as one reason that people experience particular difficulty learning and recalling names. This experiment tested whether the exacerbated difficulty experienced by older adults in retrieving proper names is partly due to names' nondescriptive quality. Young and older participants named pictures of well-known cartoon characters that have either descriptive names (e.g., Snow White, Big Bird) or nondescriptive names (e.g., Charlie Brown, Garfield). Older adults were particularly impaired at retrieving nondescriptive names. Results indicate that theories of name memory must represent the nondescriptive nature of names and account for the decreased retrieval difficulty for descriptive compared with nondescriptive names in aging.

Journal Article.  5878 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychology ; Gerontology and Ageing ; Geriatric Medicine

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