The effects of orienting tasks on adult age differences in recall and recognition

Jane L. Rankin, Thomas P. Hyland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


This research examined the type of recognition errors made following orienting task instructions in order to investigate possible age differences in the depth of processing of information to be learned. Eighteen young, 18 middle-aged, and 18 elderly adults viewed 48 words, each of which was accompanied by learning instructions or a phonological or semantic orienting task. Subjects were then presented previously-seen items paired with a synonym, rhyme, or unrelated word. Analyses revealed no age differences in the number or pattern of recognition errors. Middle-aged and elderly adults recalled fewer items than young adults and their recall scores were less affected by orienting task instructions. Results are discussed in the context of possible age differences in the depth and elaboration of processing during study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1983


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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