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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1995 May;50(3):P162-70.

Adult age differences in perceptually based, but not conceptually based implicit tests of memory.

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Department of Psychology, University of Victoria.


Implicit tests of memory assess the influence of recent experience without requiring awareness of remembering. Evidence concerning age differences on implicit tests of memory suggests small age differences in favor of younger adults. However, the majority of research examining this issue has relied upon perceptually based implicit tests. Recently, a second type of implicit test, one that relies upon conceptually based processes, has been identified. The pattern of age differences on this second type of implicit test is less clear. In the present study, we examined the pattern of age differences on one conceptually based (fact completion) and one perceptually based (stem completion) implicit test of memory, as well as two explicit tests of memory (fact and word recall). Tasks were administered to 403 adults from three age groups (19-34 years, 58-73 years, 74-89 years). Significant age differences in favor of the young were found on stem completion but not fact completion. Age differences were present for both word and fast recall. Correlational analyses examining the relationship of memory performance to other cognitive variables indicated that the implicit tests were supported by different components than the explicit tests, as well as being different from each other.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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