3 years ago

Memory avoidance by older adults: When `old dogs' won't perform their `new tricks'.

Touron DR
Learning often involves a transition from responding based on an effortful initial strategy to using a faster and easier memory-based strategy. Older adults shift strategy more slowly compared to younger adults. I describe research establishing that age differences in strategy shift are impacted not only by declines in older adults' learning, but also by a volitional avoidance of memory retrieval. I also discuss the factors that influence older adults' memory avoidance, including age differences in understanding the available strategies' relative efficiency, accuracy, and effort, as well as age differences in the preference for a consistent strategic approach. Last, I consider the implications of memory avoidance for older adults' everyday functioning. This research demonstrates that volition and choice must be taken into account when studying cognitive performance and aging.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26085714

DOI: PubMed:26085714

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