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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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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that the ability to intentionally regulate conscious awareness of unwanted memories through inhibitory control declines with age, highlighting differences in memory control that may be of clinical relevance in the aftermath of unpleasant life events.
Abstract: People often encounter reminders to memories that they would prefer not to think about. When this happens, they often try to exclude the unwanted memory from awareness, a process that relies upon inhibitory control. We propose that the ability to regulate awareness of unwanted memories through inhibition declines with advancing age. In two experiments, we examined younger and older adults’ ability to intentionally suppress retrieval when repeatedly confronted with reminders to an experience they were instructed to not think about. Older adults exhibited significantly less forgetting of the suppressed items compared to younger adults on a later independent probe test of recall, indicating that older adults failed to inhibit the to-be-avoided memories. These findings demonstrate that the ability to intentionally regulate conscious awareness of unwanted memories through inhibitory control declines with age, highlighting differences in memory control that may be of clinical relevance in the aftermath of unpleasant life events.

100 citations


Cites background or result from "Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..."

  • ...This finding may differ from that reported by Sahakyan et al. (2008) with the directed forgetting procedure, perhaps because the Think/No-Think task confronts participants with strong cues to well learned responses that may create a more challenging control task....

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  • ...…indicates that older adults sometimes are less able to intentionally forget a first list of memory items when given an instruction to forget followed by a second list (Sahakyan et al., 2008; Zacks, Radvanksy, & Hasher, 1996; however, see Zellner & Bäuml, 2006; Sego, Goldin, & Gottlob, 2006)....

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  • ...It remains unclear, however, whether the reduced forgetting for older adults observed in the directed forgetting procedure reflects an inhibition deficit, or a tendency, on the part of older adults, to simply not try to forget because they feel they do not need to (Sahakyan et al., 2008)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results of two experiments support a context-change account of the amnesic effects of daydreaming, which suggests that daydreams that are more different from the current moment will result in more forgetting than daydreamed that are less different fromThe current moment.
Abstract: Daydreaming mentally transports people to another place or time. Many daydreams are similar in content to the thoughts that people generate when they intentionally try to forget. Thus, thoughts like those generated during daydreaming can cause forgetting of previously encoded events. We conducted two experiments to test the hypothesis that daydreams that are more different from the current moment (e.g., in distance, time, or circumstance) will result in more forgetting than daydreams that are less different from the current moment, because they result in a greater contextual shift. Daydreaming was simulated in the laboratory via instructions to engage in a diversionary thought. Participants learned a list of words, were asked to think about autobiographical memories, and then learned a second list of words. They tended to forget more words from the first list when they thought about their parents' home than when they thought about their current home (Experiment 1). They also tended to forget more when they thought about an international vacation than when they thought about a domestic vacation (Experiment 2). These results support a context-change account of the amnesic effects of daydreaming.

99 citations

Book ChapterDOI
TL;DR: The authors provide an up-to-date review of the twenty-first century research and theory on list-method directed forgetting (DF) and related phenomena like the context-change effect.
Abstract: The primary purpose of this chapter is to provide an up-to-date review of the twenty-first century research and theory on list-method directed forgetting (DF) and related phenomena like the context-change effect. Many researchers have assumed that DF is diagnostic of inhibition, but we argue for an alternative, noninhibitory account and suggest reinterpretation of earlier findings. We first describe what DF is and the state of the art with regard to measuring the effect. Then, we review recent evidence that brings DF into the family of effects that can be explained by global memory models. The process-based theory we advocate is that the DF impairment arises from mental context change and that the DF benefits emerge mainly but perhaps not exclusively from changes in encoding strategy. We review evidence (some new to this paper) that strongly suggests that DF arises from the engagement of controlled forgetting strategies that are independent of whether people believed the forget cue or not. Then we describe the vast body of literature supporting that forgetting strategies result in contextual change effects, as well as point out some inconsistencies in the DF literature that need to be addressed in future research. Next, we provide evidence—again, some of it new to this chapter—that the reason people show better memory after a forget cue is that they change encoding strategies. In addition to reviewing the basic research with healthy population, we reinterpret the evidence from the literature on certain clinical populations, providing a critique of the work done to date and outlining ways of improving the methodology for the study of DF in special populations. We conclude with a critical discussion of alternative approaches to understanding DF.

76 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors used the item-method of directed forgetting and obtained greater directed forgetting for VTs than SPTs, but only in the primacy region for SPTs.

70 citations


Cites background from "Oh, Honey, I Already Forgot That : ..."

  • ...…investigations of directed forgetting have also taken this approach (e.g., Bäuml et al., 2008; Pastötter & Bäuml, 2007; Sahakyan & Delaney, 2005; Sahakyan & Goodmon, 2007; Sahakyan et al., 2008; Zellner & Bäuml, 2006).1 Unless otherwise specified, the results were significant at a = .05 level....

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  • ...Recent investigations of directed forgetting have also taken this approach (e.g., Bäuml et al., 2008; Pastötter & Bäuml, 2007; Sahakyan & Delaney, 2005; Sahakyan & Goodmon, 2007; Sahakyan et al., 2008; Zellner & Bäuml, 2006)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Age effects were reliably larger when the item method was used, suggesting that these effects are mainly due to encoding differences.
Abstract: In this meta-analysis, we examined the effects of aging on directed forgetting. A cue to forget is more effective in younger (d = 1.17) than in older (d = 0.81) adults. Directed-forgetting effects were larger (a) with the item method rather than with the list method, (b) with longer presentation times, (c) with longer postcue rehearsal times, (d) with single words rather than with verbal action phrases as stimuli, (e) with shorter lists, and (f) when recall rather than recognition was tested. Age effects were reliably larger when the item method was used, suggesting that these effects are mainly due to encoding differences.

60 citations

References
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A model for response latency and the latencies of correct and incorrect responses in recognition memory and an interpretation of reaction time in information processing research are presented.
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1,492 citations


Additional excerpts

  • ...…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; Schacter, Norman, &…...

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a group of sixty-six adult subjects were given the task of producing as many words as possible beginning with specified letters of the alphabet, and the number of words produced during a period of 60 seconds correlated highly with a frequency count derived from the Thorndike-Lorge norms and with estimates derived from a dictionary of the number words in the English language beginning with each letter.

1,188 citations

Book
14 Jan 2014
TL;DR: This book discusses encoding and Retrieval Processes, Modularity and Dissociations in Memory Systems, and the Relation Between Memory and Consciousness: Dissociable Interactions and Conscious Experience.
Abstract: Contents: Part I:Encoding and Retrieval Processes. H.L. Roediger, III, M.S. Weldon, B.H. Challis, Explaining Dissociations Between Implicit and Explicit Measures of Retention: A Processing Account. F.I.M. Craik, On the Making of Episodes. M.J. Watkins, Willful and Nonwillful Determinants of Memory. R. Ratcliff, G. McKoon, Memory Models, Text Processing, and Cue-Dependent Retrieval. B.B. Murdock, Jr., The Past, the Present, and the Future: Comments on Section 1. Part II:Neuropsychology. L. Weiskrantz, Remembering Dissociations. L.S. Cermak, Synergistic Ecphory and the Amnesic Patient. M. Moscovitch, Confabulation and the Frontal Systems: Strategic Versus Associative Retrieval in Neuropsychological Theories of Memory. D.S. Olton, Inferring Psychological Dissociations from Experimental Dissociations: The Temporal Context of Episodic Memory. M. Kinsbourne, The Boundaries of Episodic Remembering: Comments on the Second Section. Part III:Classification Systems for Memory. J.R. Anderson, A Rational Analysis of Human Memory. D. Broadbent, Lasting Representations and Temporary Processes. J.H. Neely, Experimental Dissociations and the Episodic/Semantic Memory Distinction. R.G. Crowder, Modularity and Dissociations in Memory Systems. L-G. Nilsson, Classification of Human Memory: Comments on the Third Section. Part IV:Consciousness, Emotion, and Memory. R.A. Bjork, Retrieval Inhibition as an Adaptive Mechanism in Human Memory. E. Eich, Theoretical Issues in State Dependent Memory. D.L. Schacter, On the Relation Between Memory and Consciousness: Dissociable Interactions and Conscious Experience. L.L. Jacoby, C.M. Kelley, J. Dywan, Memory Attributions. R.S. Lockhart, Consciousness and the Function of Remembered Episodes: Comments on the Fourth Section.

1,097 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a cue-utilization approach to judgments of learning (JOLs) is outlined, distinguishing three types of cues for JOLs: intrinsic, extrinsic, and mnemonic.
Abstract: How do people monitor their knowledge during acquisition? A cue-utilization approach to judgments of learning (JOLs) is outlined, distinguishing 3 types of cues for JOLs: intrinsic, extrinsic, and mnemonic. In 4 experiments using paired-associates learning, item difficulty (intrinsic) exerted similar effects of JOLs and recall. In contrast, the extrinsic factors of list repetition, item repetition within a list, and stimulus duration affected JOLs less strongly than recall, supporting the proposition that extrinsic factors are discounted in making JOLs. Although practice impaired calibration, increasing underconfidence, it did improve resolution (i.e., the recall-JOL correlation). This improvement was seen to reflect a shift in the basis of JOLs with practice, from reliance on intrinsic factors, towards greater reliance on mnemonic-based heuristics.

1,047 citations


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

  • ...Recall predictions can also be based on inferences from beliefs or theories about one’s competence (Kelley & Jacoby, 1996; Koriat, 1997)....

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  • ...Participants might rely on mnemonic cues derived from online processing of List 1 items to predict how much they will remember on the test (e.g., Koriat, 1997) and use those predictions to decide whether or not to employ forgetting strategies....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An associative hypothesis to explain and predict older adults' deficient explicit episodic memory performance was outlined and tested and four experiments are reported that provide a converging validity and a discriminant validity to the hypothesis.
Abstract: An associative hypothesis to explain and predict older adults' deficient explicit episodic memory performance was outlined and tested. The hypothesis attributes a substantial part of older adults' deficient memory performance to their difficulty in merging unrelated attributes-units of an episode into a cohesive unit. Although each of the components can be memorized to a reasonable degree, the associations that tie the attributes-units to each other grow weaker in old age. Four experiments are reported that provide (a) a converging validity to the hypothesis by demonstrating this associative deficit for both interitem relationships and intraitem relationships and (b) a discriminant validity to the hypothesis by contrasting and testing competing predictions made by the associative hypothesis and by alternative hypotheses. The implications of these results to older adults' episodic memory performance are discussed.

1,008 citations


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

  • ...Some researchers argued that older adults have difficulty binding different components of information into a coherent, distinctive unit, leading to more impoverished and fragmented episodic representations (e.g., Chalfonte & Johnson, 1996; Naveh-Benjamin, 2000)....

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  • ..., 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, 2000), the current studies set out to investigate older and younger adults’ memory using list-method directed forgetting....

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  • ...…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, 2000), the current studies set out to investigate older and younger adults’ memory using list-method directed forgetting....

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