Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol 54, Issue 4 P256-P269, Copyright © 1999 by The Gerontological Society of America
Aging and prospective memory: differences between naturalistic and laboratory tasks
PG Rendell and DM Thomson
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
The contrasting age-related trends on laboratory and naturalistic
prospective memory (PM) studies were investigated with the same
participants. In the first two experiments, 380 participants in three age
groups (20s, 60s and 80+) were given a naturalistic PM task of logging the
time at four set times for one week. There were six between-subjects
regimens that varied the complexity of the time schedule, and the
opportunity to use conjection superior to the young adults on all regimens.
In Experiment 3, the same participants showed a significant age-related
decline on retrospective memory tasks, and on event-based laboratory PM
tasks embedded within the retrospective memory tasks. The study confirmed
the paradoxical age-related trends on laboratory and naturalistic PM tasks.