Locus of control and the age difference in free recall from episodic memory

Paul C. Amrhein, Judith K. Bond, Derek A. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors investigated the relation of locus of control (LOC) to age differences in free-recall memory performance. Older and younger participants completed P. C. Duttweiler's (1984) Internal Control Index (ICI) and subsequently performed free-recall memory tasks. Compared with the younger participants, the older participants exhibited poorer recall with more intrusions and uncorrected repetition errors as well as reduced categorical clustering. For the older participants with less internal LOC, recall proportion and item-pair associative recall clustering were lower than for the older participants with more internal LOC. By contrast, the younger participants did not exhibit any LOC effects in their recall performance. The results suggest that a differential memory organization deficit may underlie the age differences in free recall among individuals varying in LOC when they are performing an intentional learning task. This deficit is discussed in terms of a reduced-inhibition account of cognitive aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-164
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of General Psychology
Volume126
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1999

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