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Psychol Aging. 1993 Jun;8(2):283-93.

Automatic versus intentional uses of memory: aging, attention, and control.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


In 2 experiments, the authors used a process dissociation procedure (Jacoby, 1991) to separately examine the effects of aging on automatic and consciously controlled memory processes. In Experiment 1, a group of young adults in either a full-attention or divided-attention condition were compared with a group of elderly adults on a fame judgment task. Both age and divided attention had a detrimental effect on consciously controlled memory processing but left automatic processing intact. In Experiment 2, the same age-related pattern was found using a more demanding forced-choice recognition paradigm.

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