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Journal ArticleDOI

Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : Strategic Control of Directed Forgetting in Older and Younger Adults*

01 Sep 2008-Psychology and Aging (NIH Public Access)-Vol. 23, Iss: 3, pp 621-633
TL;DR: Two experiments investigated list-method directed forgetting with older and younger adults and showed that age-related differences in directed forgetting occurred because older adults were less likely than younger adults to initiate a strategy to attempt to forget.
Abstract: This article is about age-related differences in intentional forgetting of unwanted information. Imagine receiving medication and reading the directions on how to take it. Afterwards, the doctor tells you to take a different dosage at a different time from that printed on the label. Updating the directions may necessitate intentional forgetting of the earlier-learned information. The current article took one approach to examining this issue by examining age differences in the effectiveness of intentional forgetting using the popular list-method directed forgetting procedure invented by R. A. Bjork, LaBerge, and LeGrand (1968).

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article , the authors directly tested whether encoding suppression recruits inhibitory mechanisms with a cross-task design, relating the behavioral and neural data from male and female participants in a Stop Signal task (a task specifically testing inhibitory processing) to a directed forgetting task with both encoding suppression (Forget) and thought substitution (Imagine) cues.
Abstract: Humans have the ability to intentionally forget information via different strategies, included suppression of encoding (directed forgetting) and mental replacement of the item to encode (thought substitution). These strategies may rely on different neural mechanisms; namely, encoding suppression may induce prefrontally mediated inhibition, whereas thought substitution is potentially accomplished through modulating contextual representations. Yet, few studies have directly related inhibitory processing to encoding suppression, or tested its involvement in thought substitution. Here, we directly tested whether encoding suppression recruits inhibitory mechanisms with a cross-task design, relating the behavioral and neural data from male and female participants in a Stop Signal task (a task specifically testing inhibitory processing) to a directed forgetting task with both encoding suppression (Forget) and thought substitution (Imagine) cues. Behaviorally, Stop Signal task performance (stop signal reaction times) was related to the magnitude of encoding suppression, but not thought substitution. Two complementary neural analyses corroborated the behavioral result. Namely, brain-behavior analysis demonstrated that the magnitude of right-frontal beta activity following stop signals was related to stop signal reaction times and successful encoding suppression, but not thought substitution; and classifiers trained to discriminate successful and unsuccessful stopping in the Stop Signal task could also classify successful and unsuccessful forgetting following Forget cues, but not Imagine cues. Importantly, inhibitory neural mechanisms were engaged following Forget cues at a later time than motor stopping. These findings not only support an inhibitory account of directed forgetting, and that thought substitution engages separate mechanisms, but also potentially identify a specific time in which inhibition occurs when suppressing encoding.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Forgetting often seems like an unintended experience, but forgetting can be intentional, and can be accomplished with multiple strategies. These strategies, including encoding suppression and thought substitution, may rely on different neural mechanisms. Here, we test the hypothesis that encoding suppression engages domain-general prefrontally driven inhibitory control mechanisms, while thought substitution does not. Using cross-task analyses, we provide evidence that encoding suppression engages the same inhibitory mechanisms used for stopping motor actions, but these mechanisms are not engaged by thought substitution. These findings not only support the notion that mnemonic encoding processes can be directly inhibited, but also have broad relevance, as certain populations with disrupted inhibitory processing may be more successful accomplishing intentional forgetting through thought substitution strategies.
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the effects of interference on value-based memory in younger and older adults by presenting participants with lists of words paired with point values counting toward their score if recalled, and found that proactive and retroactive interference seem to be largely responsible for age-related deficits in selective memory for important information.
Abstract: We examined the effects of interference on value-based memory in younger and older adults by presenting participants with lists of words paired with point values counting toward their score if recalled. In Experiment 1, we created a situation where there was a buildup of interference such that participants could recall words from any studied list to earn points. However, to increase participants' motivation to combat interference, we told participants that if they recalled words from previously studied lists, those words would be worth double the original point value of the word. In Experiment 2, to examine age-related differences in the absence of any interference, participants studied and were tested on the same set of words throughout several study-test cycles. The buildup of interference caused by participants needing to recall both just-studied and previously studied words in Experiment 1 impaired selectivity in older adults relative to younger adults and this effect was particularly pronounced when considering the recall of just prior-list words. However, in the absence of interference, there was not an overall recall deficit or any selectivity impairments in older adults. Thus, proactive and retroactive interference seem to be largely responsible for age-related deficits in selective memory for important information.
References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The role of stereotype vulnerability in the standardized test performance of ability-stigmatized groups is discussed and mere salience of the stereotype could impair Blacks' performance even when the test was not ability diagnostic.
Abstract: Stereotype threat is being at risk of confirming, as self-characte ristic, a negative stereotype about one's group. Studies 1 and 2 varied the stereotype vulnerability of Black participants taking a difficult verbal test by varying whether or not their performance was ostensibly diagnostic of ability, and thus, whether or not they were at risk of fulfilling the racial stereotype about their intellectual ability. Reflecting the pressure of this vulnerability, Blacks underperformed in relation to Whites in the ability-diagnostic condition but not in the nondiagnostic condition (with Scholastic Aptitude Tests controlled). Study 3 validated that ability-diagnosticity cognitively activated the racial stereotype in these participants and motivated them not to conform to it, or to be judged by it. Study 4 showed that mere salience of the stereotype could impair Blacks' performance even when the test was not ability diagnostic. The role of stereotype vulnerability in the standardized test performance of ability-stigmatized groups is discussed. Not long ago, in explaining his career-long preoccupation with the American Jewish experience, the novelist Philip Roth said that it was not Jewish culture or religion per se that fascinated him, it was what he called the Jewish "predicament." This is an apt term for the perspective taken in the present research. It focuses on a social-psychological predicament that can arise from widely-known negative stereotypes about one's group. It is this: the existence of such a stereotype means that anything one does or any of one's features that conform to it make the stereotype more plausible as a self-characterization in the eyes of others, and perhaps even in one's own eyes. We call this predicament stereotype threat and argue that it is experienced, essentially, as a self-evaluative threat. In form, it is a predicament that can beset the members of any group about whom negative stereotypes exist. Consider the stereotypes elicited by the terms yuppie, feminist, liberal, or White male. Their prevalence in society raises the possibility for potential targets that the stereotype is true of them and, also, that other people will see them that way. When the allegations of the stereotype are importantly

7,282 citations


"Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Activating negative stereotypes impairs performance on other cognitive tasks (e.g., Steele & Aronson, 1995; Rahhal et al., 2001)....

    [...]

Book
03 Jul 2010
TL;DR: The Psychology of Learning and Motivation (PLM) series as mentioned in this paper is a collection of contributions in cognitive and experimental psychology, ranging from classical and instrumental conditioning to complex learning and problem solving.
Abstract: Psychology of Learning and Motivation publishes empirical and theoretical contributions in cognitive and experimental psychology, ranging from classical and instrumental conditioning to complex learning and problem solving. Each chapter thoughtfully integrates the writings of leading contributors, who present and discuss significant bodies of research relevant to their discipline. Volume 62 includes chapters on such varied topics as automatic logic and effortful beliefs, complex learning and development, bias detection and heuristics thinking, perceiving scale in real and virtual environments, using multidimensional encoding and retrieval contexts to enhance our understanding of source memory, causes and consequences of forgetting in thinking and remembering and people as contexts in conversation. * Volume 62 of the highly regarded Psychology of Learning and Motivation series* An essential reference for researchers and academics in cognitive science* Relevant to both applied concerns and basic research

3,864 citations

Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: This chapter discusses the theoretical and empirical literature that addresses aging and discourse comprehension and a series of five studies guided by a particular working memory viewpoint regarding the formation of inferences during discourse processing are described.
Abstract: Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the theoretical and empirical literature that addresses aging and discourse comprehension. A series of five studies guided by a particular working memory viewpoint regarding the formation of inferences during discourse processing is described in the chapter. Compensatory strategies may be used with different degrees of likelihood across the life span largely as a function of efficiency with which inhibitory mechanisms function because these largely determine the facility with which memory can be searched. The consequences for discourse comprehension in particular may be profound because the establishment of a coherent representation of a message hinges on the timely retrieval of information necessary to establish coreference among certain critical ideas. Discourse comprehension is an ideal domain for assessing limited capacity frameworks because most models of discourse processing assume that multiple components, demanding substantially different levels of cognitive resources, are involved. For example, access to a lexical representation from either a visual array or an auditory message is virtually capacity free.

3,331 citations


"Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Given that older adults’ memory deficits have been attributed in part to impaired inhibitory abilities (e.g., Hasher & Zacks, 1988) or to associative memory deficits, including difficulties in binding events to their context (e.g., Chalfonte & Johnson, 1996; M. K. Johnson, 1997; Naveh-Benjamin,…...

    [...]

BookDOI
01 Jan 1992
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a broad overview of the field of cognitive aging research, including abnormal aging, the neuroscience of aging, and applied cognitive psychology along with the core section on basic cognitive processes.
Abstract: The study of age-related changes in cognitive processes is flourishing as never before, making the area an exciting one for a growing number of researchers. In addition, cognitive aging research is moving out from its traditional roots in experimental and developmental psychology -- creating increased contact with cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. To reflect these changes in the field, this volume includes chapters on abnormal aging, the neuroscience of aging, and applied cognitive psychology along with the core section on basic cognitive processes. While other recent compilations of research in this area have given relatively brief overviews of the literature, the contributors were given space to review each topic in depth, asked to evaluate the field -- not simply their own contributions -- and to provide critical commentaries from their personal perspectives. Couched most often in terms of cognitive or information-processing models, the general perspective of the contributors is a biologically-based account of aging. This shared viewpoint gives the volume particular coherence in its treatment of theories and data. Topics covered include age differences in attention, perception, memory, knowledge representation, reasoning, and language as well as their neuropsychological and neurological correlates and practical implications.

2,428 citations


"Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...It is known that older adults have negative stereotypes about the effects of aging on memory (Camp & Pignatiello, 1988; Hertzog & Hultsch, 2000; Hummert, 1990; Kite & Johnson, 1988; Lineweaver & Hertzog, 1998; Ryan, 1992), and believe that they will perform more poorly on memory tests compared to younger adults (Berry & West, 1993; Cavanaugh, 1996; Cavanaugh & Green, 1990; West & Berry, 1994)....

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Book
01 Jan 1973
TL;DR: In this paper, a theory about human memory, about how a person encodes, retains, and retrieves information from memory, was proposed and tested, based on the HAM theory.
Abstract: Published in 1980, part of the Experimental Psychology series. This book proposes and tests a theory about human memory, about how a person encodes, retains, and retrieves information from memory. This edition contains two major parts. First is the historical analysis of associationism and its countertraditions. This still provides the framework that has been used to relate the current research to an important intellectual tradition. This is reproduced without comment from the original book; historical analyses do not need as rapid revision as theoretical analyses. The second part of the book reproduces the major components of the HAM theory.

2,340 citations


"Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…about the temporal–spatial–mental context— that is, the time–place of an event, as well as the internal cognitive state of the participant (e.g., Anderson & Bower, 1973; Gillund & Shiffrin, 1984; Humphreys, 1976; M. K. Johnson & Chalfonte, 1994; M. K. Johnson, Hashtroudi, & Lindsay, 1993;…...

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