Age and memory

It is a common stereotype that memory significantly gets worse as a person becomes older. There is now evidence that shows that these negative stereotypes may actually be negatively affecting the memory of older people who believe this to be true. Older adults who have more positive views on aging and memory have done better on memory performance tests than those who live in cultures where negative views on aging and memory surround them. A possible reason for this difference, is that when people convince themselves that aging effects memory, their effort and strategy use may be changed, which may ultimately effect their memory performance.
In this journal, experimenters look at the effects of implicit priming and explicit priming of aging stereotypes. Implicit priming is activating certain associations in memory without conscious recollection, whereas explicit priming is activating associations in memory of facts and experiences. Both implicit and explicit priming were found to have an effect on older adults' memory. This research article examines the relationship between age, culture, and memory performance. Researchers have found, overall, smaller age differences in groups of people who have more positive beliefs about aging. Ultimately, this finding illustrates the importance of aging stereotypes because of the influence they may have on memory.
In thefirst experiment, young and old adults were either implicitly or explicitly primed with either positive or negative aging stereotypes, and then given a memory test after. This was done to test several things. First, they wanted to see if the effects of implicit stereotyping on memory performance are reliable with older adults. The researchers believed that this would be proved to be true, and that aging stereotypes would have a large impact on the memory of older adults, but very little on younger adults. Also, they wanted to test the extent to which awareness influenced t…

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