Aging, spaced retrieval, and inflexible memory performance
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Spaced retrieval is a memory-training technique whereby information is tested at progressively longer delays. Two experiments were conducted in order to examine the effects of spaced retrieval on controlled recollection and automatic influences of memory. In Experiment 1, word pairs were read once, three times, or once and retrieved twice by young and older adults. Retrieval practice improved performance on a later test for both age groups. Experiment 2 was arranged so that recollection opposed automatic influences of retrieval practice. Retrieval practice increased intrusions on a later test only for older adults. Results suggest that because of a deficit in recollection, older adults were less able to oppose the automatic influence of spaced retrieval and thus exhibited less flexible memory performance.
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