A diffusion model analysis of adult age differences in episodic and semantic long-term memory retrieval.
Two experiments investigated adult age differences in episodic and semantic long-term memory tasks, as a test of the hypothesis of specific age-related decline in context memory. Older adults were slower and exhibited lower episodic accuracy than younger adults. Fits of the diffusion model (R. Ratcliff, 1978) revealed age-related increases in non-decisional reaction time for both episodic and semantic retrieval. In Experiment 2, an age difference in boundary separation also indicated an age-related increase in conservative criterion setting. For episodic old-new recognition (Experiment 1) and source memory (Experiment 2), there was an age-related decrease in the quality of decision-driving information (drift rate). As predicted by the context-memory deficit hypothesis, there was no corresponding age-related decline in semantic drift rate.
Spaniol, J; Madden, DJ; Voss, A
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