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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2001 Mar;56(2):P103-10.

Accuracy and qualities of real and suggested memories: nonspecific age differences.

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Department of Psychology, Syracuse University, New York 13244-2344, USA.


This study examined adult age differences in the accuracy, confidence ratings, and vividness ratings of veridical and suggested memories. After seeing either one or two exposures of a vignette depicting a theft, young adults (M = 19 years) and older adults (M = 73 years) were given misleading information that suggested the presence of particular objects in the episode. Memory accuracy was higher for younger adults than for older adults, and the frequency of falsely reporting the presence of suggested objects was greater for older adults than for young adults. Further, levels of confidence and vividness ratings of the perceptual attributes (colors, locations) of falsely recognized items were higher for older adults than for young adults. Both young adults and older adults used more perceptual references when describing veridical memories than when describing suggested memories. Age differences in the suggestibility of memory were attributed to nonspecific or nondissociated memory aging effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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