Comprehension and memory for everyday events by the elderly
A large literature has described the effects of advancing age on cognitive laboratory tasks, but there have been few attempts to investigate its effects on everyday cognitive performance. The experiments reported are an attempt to explore the effects of age on the everyday memory task of comprehending and remembering events as conveyed by television and in everyday perception. The methodology used was cross-sectional with all subjects well-documented on a number of indices. These were assessed as predictors of performance on different cognitive tasks relating to the everyday memory task. Age per se was found to have a limited effect on performance, the best index of the cognitive effect of ageing being I.Q. test score. This index picked up most of the variance on the measurements taken. Experiments were designed to examine the elderlys' recall of television news broadcasts. These demonstrated that elderly people with low I.Q. test scores have difficulty recalling facts and details from such an information source. Subsequent experiments attempted to identify the processes which explain groups differences on this task.