Age differences in the allocation of study time account for age differences in memory performance

John Dunlosky, Lisa Tabor Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations


How aging affects the utilization of monitoring in the allocation of study time was investigated by having adults learn paired associates during multiple study-test trials. During each trial, a subject paced the presentation of individual items and later judged the likelihood of recalling each item on the up-coming test; after all items had been studied and judged, recall occurred. For both age groups in Study 1, (1) people's judgments were highly accurate at predicting recall and (2) intraindividual correlations between judgments (or recall) on one trial, and study times on the next trial were negative, which suggests that subjects utilized monitoring to allocate study time. However, the magnitude of these correlations was less for older than for younger adults. Study 2 revealed that these differences were not due to age differences in forgetting. Results from both studies suggest that older adults do not utilize on-line monitoring to allocate study to the same degree as younger adults do, and that these differences in allocation contribute to age deficits in recall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-700
Number of pages10
JournalMemory and Cognition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

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