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Memory, age and conscious awareness

Java, R.I. (1991). Memory, age and conscious awareness. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The work that follows is concerned with dissociations between explicit and implicit memory and the effects of age. Incorporating ideas from a framework combining both systems and processing accounts of memory functioning (Tulving and Schacter, 1990), this thesis seeks to discover how conscious awareness influences these dissociations. Furthermore, it is proposed to extend previous work that has shown the relatively preserved implicit memory of older adults, with particular reference to the classification of tasks according to whether their major components are conceptually, or data driven.

The experiments can be divided into three main groups. The two studies in the first experimental chapter confirm and extend previous findings of an age equivalence for the perceptual task of word stern completion priming to anagram solution.

Chapter 4 contains three experiments that showed the appearance and disappearance of the read superiority effect according to whether or not word stem completion was presented as an embedded task. Post hoc questioning of "test awareness" was applied in the third study (Schacter, Bowers and Booker, 1990).

In the final experimental chapter, the first of two experiments showed little effect of age on the conceptual task of word association priming. Experiment 7 measured conscious awareness in explicit and implicit tests using Tulving's (1985b) "Remember" and "Know" responses and indicated that age differences in cued recall corresponded with differences in the components of conscious awareness. This method was considered more satisfactory than that of Schacter and his colleagues.

Chapter 6 summarizes the principal findings, and their implications for theory and future research are discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Java thesis 1991 PDF-A.pdf]
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