Associative Memory in Younger and Older Adults: The Roles of Novelty and Schema.
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Previous studies suggest that age-related memory differences can be eliminated when older adults are able to use existing schematic knowledge to aid recall or recognition. This study investigates the role of schema, and additionally, the role of novelty in associated memory across older and younger adult age groups. The design of this study was based on the previous research of Castel (2005), and investigated performance of both age groups with regard to recall and recognition of grocery items and prices. Consistent with previous findings no age-related differences were present in the recall of market value prices, and younger participants outperformed older participants with regard to overpriced items. This suggests that previous existing schematic knowledge does aid memory recall, and promote the elimination of age-related differences. However, additionally, no age related differences were identified in the underpriced or novel conditions, possibly suggesting the role of additional memory effecting factors. Furthermore, no age-related differences were identified in the accuracy of older and younger adults’ recollection and familiarity responses across all price conditions. This suggests that both distinct aspects of recognition may be less sensitive to memory decline, and is inconsistent with previous literature that has suggested the ability to produce accurate recollection declines with normal ageing.