General Versus Specific Trait Memory Across Ages

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dc.contributor.advisor Gutchess, Angela Nussinow, Chad 2012-08-31T14:38:29Z 2012-08-31T14:38:29Z 2012
dc.description.abstract While some evidence suggests that age differences in memory can be ameliorated for socioemotional information, it is unknown whether these effects extend to memory for specific details (rather than general information) and across different aspects of socioemotional information. The present study examined the ability of older and younger adults to remember both specific traits and the general valence of those traits (positive or negative) for people they encountered. 41 younger adults and 27 older adults viewed a set of 24 faces on a computer monitor, each face paired with a social trait word describing the person as honest, liar, compassionate, or inconsiderate. In a surprise memory task, participants selected which trait had been presented with each face. It was hypothesized that while younger adults would show superior memory to older adults on average, this would be particularly true for memory of specific traits rather than memory for general valence (e.g., whether the trait was good or bad). Results indicated that younger adults showed superior memory on average, with marginal statistical significance trending toward younger adults showing superior specific trait memory. It was also hypothesized that both age groups would show increased memory for general valence and that both age groups would show more similar memory abilities for general valence. Analysis of error types showed that when the specific trait was not correctly recalled, significantly more responses indicated successful memory of general valence. In addition, the number of these same valence errors were nearly the same for both age groups.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Chad M. Nussinow 2012
dc.subject General
dc.subject Specific
dc.subject Trait
dc.subject Memory
dc.subject Age
dc.subject Aging
dc.subject Valence
dc.subject Personality
dc.title General Versus Specific Trait Memory Across Ages
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology MA Masters Psychology Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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