Age differences in memory performance and strategy use for grocery items and imagery/familiarity-matched non-grocery words: A study in everyday memory
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Age differences, Memory, Grocery items, Imagery/familiarity-matched
Cognitive Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Thirty younger (mean age = 19) and 30 older (mean age = 72) adults participated in two experiments in which recall and recognition were assessed for lists of grocery items or familiarity-matched non-grocery items. Clusterability of items, based upon category membership, was manipulated to assess clustering strategy usage. Furthermore, study participants completed a questionnaire pertaining to grocery shopping experiences, strategies, and attitudes, and completed a diary for seven to ten days documenting grocery shopping activity between sessions 1 and 2. Evidence exists, through age comparisons of item recognition accuracy data, that cognitive maps (memory of a store's layout) can serve to compensate for older adults' deficits in recognition memory. Item clustering ultimately did not buffer memory performance in older adults. In addition, older adults were more susceptible to interference effects and source memory deficits in both free recall and cued recognition. Results suggest that older adults have less precise memory traces than younger adults, perhaps due to interference effects, source memory deficits, or both.
Steitz, David W., "Age differences in memory performance and strategy use for grocery items and imagery/familiarity-matched non-grocery words: A study in everyday memory" (2004). Psychology - Dissertations. Paper 41.