An individual differences analysis of memory control

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Control of memory contents; Aging; Individual differences; Memory processing


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Performance on a wide variety of memory tasks can be hypothesized to be influenced by processes associated with controlling the contents of memory. In this project 328 adults ranging from 18 to 93 years of age performed six tasks (e.g., multiple trial recall with an interpolated interference list, directed forgetting, proactive interference, and retrieval inhibition) postulated to yield measures of the effectiveness of memory control. Although most of the patterns from earlier studies were replicated, only a few of the measures of memory control were reliable at the level of individual differences. Furthermore, the memory control measures had very weak relations with the age of the participant. Analyses examining the relations between established cognitive abilities and variables from the experimental tasks revealed that most of the variables were related only to episodic memory ability.

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