To replicate the results of research on age-related differences in the effectiveness of structural and semantic memory cues, 18 young, 18 middle-aged, and 18 elderly adults recalled three 20-item lists aided by category labels, or the initial two letters of each word, or no cues. Lists were presented at 1.5 or 4 sec presentation rates to evaluate the effects of changes in processing speed on age-related trends in cue effectiveness. Semantic cues were most effective in improving recall at all three age levels; structural cues produced intermediate levels of recall facilitation. There was no indication of reduced effectiveness of semantic cues with increases in age and presentation rate, suggesting factors other than age-related changes in the depth of processing are responsible for developmental differences in memory.
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