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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: 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....


  • ...…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)....


  • ...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)....


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.
Abstract: Performing action phrases (subject-performed tasks, SPTs) leads to better memory than verbal learning instructions (verbal tasks, VTs). In Experiments 1–3, the list-method directed forgetting design produced equivalent directed forgetting impairment for VTs and SPTs; however, directed forgetting enhancement emerged only for VTs, but not SPTs. Serial position analyses revealed that both item types suffered equivalent forgetting across serial positions, but enhancement was evident mostly in the first half of List 2. Experiment 4 used the item-method of directed forgetting and obtained greater directed forgetting for VTs than SPTs. A remember-all baseline group allowed estimating the impairment for to-be-forgotten (TBF) items and enhancement for to-be-remembered (TBR) items. Serial position analyses showed greater impairment for TBF items from the beginning of the list than elsewhere in the list. Directed forgetting enhancement for TBR items occurred throughout the list for VTs, but only in the primacy region for SPTs. Overall, dissociations across the list-method and item-method studies with SPTs suggest that the two methods have different underlying mechanisms. Furthermore, dissociations obtained with SPTs within list-method studies provide support for the dual-factor directed forgetting account and challenge the single-factor accounts.

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....


  • ...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)....


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

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01 Jan 2002
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a review and a model for memory disorders in the context of Confabulation and a review of the cognitive neuroscience of confabulation in memory disorders.
Abstract: About the Editors. List of Contributors. Preface. Preface to the First Edition. SECTION I: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND. The Psychology of Memory (A. Baddeley). Neurobiological Foundations of Human Memory (D. Tranel and A. Damasio). Functional Neuroimaging of Memory (M. Rugg). The Medial Temporal Lobe and Memory for Facts and Events (J. Manns and L. Squire). Connectionist Models for Memory Disorders (J. Murre). Psychopharmacology of Human Memory (H. Curran and H. Weingartner). SECTION II: VARIETIES OF MEMORY DISORDER. The Amnesic Syndrome: Overview and Subtypes (M. O'Connor and M. Verfaillie). Theories of Anterograde Amnesia (A. Mayes). Retrograde Amnesia (M. Kopelman). Transient Global Amnesia (G. Goldenberg). Recovery of Memory Function in Neurological Disease (N. Kapur and K. Graham). Neuropsychological Impairments of Verbal Short-term Memory (G. Vallar and C. Papagano). Neuropsychological Impairments of Visual and Spatial Working Memory (S. Della Sala and R. Logie). Disorders of Semantic Memory (J. Snowden). The Cognitive Neuroscience of Confabulation: A Review and a Model (A. Gilboa and M. Moscovitch). Frontal Lobes and Memory (J. Baldo and A. Shimamura). Posttraumatic Amnesia and Residual Memory Deficit after Closed Head Injury (H. Levin and G. Hanten). Schizophrenia (P. McKenna et al.). Memory and Emotional Disorder (T. Dalgleish and S. Cox). Psychogenic Amnesia (M. Kopelman). SECTION III: DEVELOPMENT AND MEMORY. Memory Development During the Childhood Years (S. Gathercole). Children with Intellectual Disabilities (S. Vicari and G. Carlesimo). Developmental Amnesias and Accquired Amnesias of Childhood (C. Temple). Memory in Elderly People (J. Kester et al.). The Memory Deficit in Alzheimer's Disease (J. Becker and A. Overman) Memory Disorders in Subcortical Dementia (J. Brandt and C. Munro). SECTION IV: ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF MEMORY PROBLEMS. Assessment of Memory Disorders (B. Wilson). Separating Memory from Other Cognitive Disorders (D. Howieson and M. Lezak). Management and Remediation of Memory Problems in Brain-injured Adults (B. Wilson). Assessment and Management of Memory Problems in Children (J. Middleton). Assessment and Intervention in Dementia of Alzheimer Type (L. Clare). Reducing the Impact of Cognitive Impairment in Dementia (B. Woods). External Memory Aids and Computers in Memory Rehabilitation (N. Kapur et al.). Emotional and Social Consequences of Memory Disorders (R. Tate). Author Index. Subject Index.

617 citations

24 Jul 1994
TL;DR: Current thinking on memory systems of 1994, D.L. Schacter memory and working with memory - evaluation of a component process model and comparisons with other models, M.W. Tulving multiple memory systems - what and why - an update.
Abstract: Current thinking on memory systems of 1994, D.L. Schacter, E. Tulving multiple memory systems - what and why - an update, L. Nadel variations in synaptic plasticity and types of memory in corticohippocampal networks, G. Lynch, R. Granger hippocampal function and interference, M.L. Shapiro, D.S. Olton the memory coherence problem - configured associations and the hippocampal system, J.W. Rudy, R.J. Sutherland the hippocampal system and declarative memory in humans and animals - experimental analysis and historical origins, H. Eichenbaum declarative and non-declarative memory - multiple brain systems supporting learning and memory, L.R. Squire priming and multiple memory systems - perceptual mechanisms of implicit memory, D.L. Schacter memory and working with memory - evaluation of a component process model and comparisons with other models, M. Moscovitch binding complex memories - the role of reactivation and the hippocampus, M.K. Johnson, B.L. Chalfonte working interface - the interface between memory and cognition, A. Baddeley cognitive binding, J. Metcalfe, W.E. Mencl, G.W Cottrell.

612 citations

01 Jan 1982
TL;DR: In this article, the effects of backward masking on the identification of letters and words were investigated in the context of Alzheimer's disease and the role of attentional resources in the development of cognitive processes.
Abstract: 1 Neuroanatomical and Clinical Neuropsychological Changes in Aging and Senile Dementia.- Aging: Normal versus Pathological.- Neuroanatomical Changes.- Electron Microscope Observations.- Light Microscope Changes.- Gross Changes.- Clinical Neuropsychological Changes.- Conclusions.- References.- 2 Cellular Mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease.- References.- 3 Advances in the Psychophysiology of Aging.- Novel Descriptive Techniques: Windows into the Brain.- Event-Related Potentials.- Computerized Axial Tomography.- Intervention: Plasticity in the Aging.- Conclusions.- References.- 4 A Neuropsychological Approach to Perception and Memory in Normal and Pathological Aging.- Visual Perception: The Effects of Backward Masking on the Identification of Letters and Words.- Primary and Secondary Memory: Free Recall, Cued Recall, and Recognition of Words and Faces.- Procedural or Skill Memory.- Remote Memory.- Memory in Everyday Life.- Summary.- References.- 5 How Do Old People Know What to Do Next?.- Passive and Active Control of Momentary Changes in Selective Attention.- Recency Effects Determined by Stimulus Characteristics or by Previously Learned Associations.- Control of Efficient Interrogation of the Environment.- Search of Probable before Improbable Locations in Space.- Guiding Search on the Basis of Cues from Neighboring Background Items.- Detection of Possibilities for Developing and Using Optimal Scanning Strategies.- Detection of Constant Probability Bias and of Sudden Changes in the Relative Probabilities of Events.- Remembering What to Do Next.- Failures to Index Immediate Memory to Maintain Control in a Serial Task.- Conclusions.- References.- 6 The Development of Visual Information Processes in Adulthood and Old Age.- A Visual Information Processing Model.- Developmental Questions.- Peripheral Perceptual Processes.- Central Perceptual Processes.- Selective Attention and Pattern Recognition.- Developmental Implications.- References.- 7 The Appearance and Disappearance of Age Differences in Adult Memory.- Summary of Present Research.- Integration with Previous Research.- Conclusions.- References.- 8 General Encoding of Episodic Events by Elderly Adults.- Experiment 1.- Experiment 2.- Experiment 3.- Conclusions.- References.- 9 Learning and Memory Deficits in Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Old People: An Analysis of Interference Effects.- Interference.- Control of Learning and Memory Deficits.- Brain Mechanisms.- Empirical Studies.- Subjects.- Interference and Learning.- Cuing Effects.- Memory.- Concluding Comments.- References.- 10 Encoding Deficits in Aging.- References.- 11 Aging and Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Attentional Resources.- Theoretical Background.- Empirical Studies.- Aging and Divided Attention.- Depth of Processing and Aging.- Age Differences in Semantic Memory.- Summary of Empirical Results.- Conclusions: Possible Reasons for Age Decrements in Memory.- References.- 12 Classification Style Differences in the Elderly.- Method.- Subjects.- Materials.- Procedure.- Measures.- Results.- Discussion.- References.- 13 Changes with Age in Problem Solving.- The Longitudinal Study of Concept Problem Solving.- Results.- Summary of Results.- Current Status and Future Directions.- References.- 14 The Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence in Relation to Concepts of Cognitive Psychology and Aging in Adulthood.- Major Concepts.- Some General Features of Procedures.- A Few Comments in Defense of Procedures.- Subjects and Variables.- Subjects.- Variables.- Analyses and Results.- Sensory Detection in Relation to Decline of Intellectual Capacities.- Short-Term Memory, Concentration, Attendveness, and Speediness Related to Gf Decline.- Speediness, Carefulness, and Persistence in Relation to Gf Decline.- Spontaneous Alertness, Expectations, and Incidental Memory.- Multiple-Process Involvements in Gf Decline.- The Rise of Crystallized Intelligence.- Summing Up.- Brain Function in Relation to Gf and Gc.- Gf Relations to Neurological Gating Functions.- Possible Neurological Underpinnings of Gc in Relation to Total Function.- Lateralization Theory in Relation to Gf/Gc Theory.- Summary.- References.- 15 Reallocation of Mental Resources over the Productive Lifespan: Assumptions and Task Analyses.- Overview.- Assumptions in Empirical Cognitive Gerontology: Subject-Selection Practices.- The Comparability Problem.- The Volunteer Problem.- A Study of Cognition, Age, and Voluntarism.- Subject Selection and Classification.- Selection and Theoretical Classification of Tasks.- General Results.- Overall Conclusions and Theoretical Analysis.- References.- 16 Attention Switching in Higher Mental Process.- References.- 17 Studying Cognitive Performance in the Elderly: A Biopsychosocial Approach.- The Biological Issues.- The Nature of Normal Biological Aging.- Non-Specific Presentation of Illness in the Elderly.- Drugs and the Elderly.- The Epidemiology of Senile Dementia.- Social Psychological Issues.- Selection Bias.- The Epiphenomena of Aging.- Labeling and Learned Helplessness.- The Problem of Ecological Validity.- Conclusions.- References.- 18 Memory Functioning in Late Adulthood.- Five Problems of Potential Significance.- Fear of Memory Impairment.- The Meaning and/or Accuracy of Self-Assessment of Memory Problems.- The Progress of Memory Disability.- The Subjective Experience of Memory Impairment and the Strategies Employed.- Potential Effects of Self-Perceived and Attributed Memory Problems on Self-Concept and on Interpretations of Behavior.- Content of Memories in Old Age: Case Studies.- Case 1.- Case 2.- Case 3.- Case 4.- Case 5.- References.- 19 Plasticity and Enhancement of Intellectual Functioning in Old Age: Penn State's Adult Development and Enrichment Project (ADEPT).- Objectives of ADEPT.- On Variability and Plasticity in Intellectual Aging.- Variability.- Plasticity.- Context and Hypotheses of ADEPT Research.- Intellectual Aging: Role of Performance Factors and Ecological Deficits.- Theory of Fluid-Crystallized Intelligence as Framework.- General Design Characteristics.- Subjects.- Measurement Battery.- Rationale and Substance of Training.- Assessment of Training.- Results of Intervention Studies.- Retesting or No-Feedback Practice.- Training of Figurai Relations Ability.- Training of Induction.- Training of Attention/Memory.- Conclusions.- Retest Effects.- Ability-Specific Training and Transfer.- Implications: Toward an Integrative View.- Summary.- References.

600 citations

01 Jan 1994
TL;DR: This work focuses on the development of models of Long-Term Episodic Memory and its applications in Skill Learning and Procedural Learning and Mnemonics and Transfer.
Abstract: Conditioning and Instrumental Learning. Skill Learning and Procedural Learning. Verbal Learning. Mnemonics and Transfer. Sensory Memory and Short-Term/Primary Memory. Models of Long-Term Episodic Memory. Long-Term Episodic Memory: Effortful Phenomena. Long-Term Episodic Memory: Discourse. Long-Term Episodic Memory: Automaticity and Rehearsal Independence. Long-Term Episodic Memory: Retention and Forgetting. Long-Term Episodic Memory: Implicit Memory. Generic (Semantic) Memory and Metamemory. References. Author Index. Subject Index.

483 citations

Additional excerpts

  • ...Prior research shows that although older adults are capable of using effective memorization strategies, they do not spontaneously generate them as often as do younger adults (Kausler, 1994; West, 1995)....


01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: This book discusses the psychology of memory, development and management of memory problems in children, and the impact of Cognitive Impairment in Dementia and Schizophrenia.
Abstract: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: The Psychology of Memory Neurobiological Foundations of Human Memory VARIETIES OF MEMORY DISORDER: Clinical Differentiation of Amnesiac Subtypes Retrograde Amnesia Transient Global Amnesia Neuropsychological Impairments of Short-Term Memory Disorders of Semantic Memory Post-Traumatic and Anterograde Amnesia Memory Changes in Normal Ageing Memory Disorders in the Dementias Schizophrenia Depression and Anxiety Memory Following Electroconvulsive Therapy Functional Disorders of Autobiographical Memory ASSESSMENT OF MEMORY PROBLEMS: The Assessment of Memory Disorders Behavioural and Self-Report Methods Separating Memory from other Cognitive Problems The Assessment of Psychogenic Amnesia MANAGEMENT OF MEMORY PROBLEMS: Management and Remediation of Memory Problems in Brain-Injured Adults Compensatory Strategies for Age-Associated Memory Impairment Memory Disturbances of Children with Learning Disabilities: A Neuropsychological Analysis of Two Academic Achievement Subtypes Memory Aids in the Rehabilitation of Memory Disordered Patients Computers in Memory Rehabilitation Pharmacological Treatment of Impaired Memory Function Personality and Social Aspects of Memory Rehabilitation Accessibility, Reconstruction, and the Treatment of Functional Memory Problems.

464 citations