Exploring Age-Related Differences in Prospective Memory Inside and Outside of the Lab

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Title: Exploring Age-Related Differences in Prospective Memory Inside and Outside of the Lab
Author: Kim, Paul Younghoon
Advisors: Christopher B. Mayhorn, Committee Chair
Abstract: In this study, the characteristics of the two prospective memory tasks (activity-based and event-based) were investigated both in the laboratory and a naturalistic setting with the addition of the age component. Forty young and 40 older adults participated. First, the participants came to the lab and answered ninety trivia questions embedded were the prospective memory tasks. Second, they were required to come to Crabtree Valley Mall (the naturalistic setting) a couple of days later (i.e. one particular Saturday) to complete various prospective memory tasks (i.e. finding 4 different men’s shirts as well as filling out a naturalistic questionnaire and picking up debriefing statement). Results found that both age groups performed the event-based task followed by activity-based task better in the lab than in the naturalistic setting. The young participants performed the tasks better than their older counterparts in both contexts, though the effects were nonsignificant. An interesting finding was that older participants performed the naturalistic event-based task better than the young participants. To conclude, the study suggests converting activity-based tasks into event-based tasks to help people accomplish their tasks successfully.
Date: 2009-06-17
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/813

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