PMID: 7941622Jan 1, 1994Paper

Learning by using notes: recall and meta-recall in middle and advanced age

Zeitschrift für experimentelle und angewandte Psychologie
W Schönpflug, E Fritsch


Female and male subjects were divided into two groups, one group 30-45 years of age, the other 65-80 years, and were presented with sentences describing intended activities. In one condition, the subjects had to write notes on half of the sentences, while in another condition they received notes prepared by the experimenter; in a control group, no notes were available. The subjects were tested for free recall of sentences and for their judgment on the availability of notes. Notes facilitated the free recall of sentences, especially if the subjects had generated the notes themselves. However, the subjects remembered self-generated notes and notes prepared by the experimenter equally well. Younger persons retained both sentences and notes better than the elderly; as far as the retention of sentences was concerned, the age differences in the retention of facultative arguments were more pronounced than for predicates and their obligatory arguments. The recall of sentences is interpreted as a function of memory and the recollection of notes as a function of metamemory. Based on these concepts of memory and metamemory, the problem of compensating for memory deficits is discussed.

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