Rate of forgetting is independent from initial degree of learning across different age groups

Karim Rivera-Lares, Sergio Della Sala, Alan Baddeley, Robert Logie

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It is well established that the more we learn, the more we remember. It is also known that our ability to acquire new information changes with age. An important remaining issue for debate is whether the rate of forgetting depends on initial degree of learning. In two experiments, following the procedure used by Slamecka and McElree (Exp 3), we investigated the relationship between initial degree of learning and rate of forgetting in both younger and older adults. A set of 36 (Exp 1) and a set of 30 (Exp 2) sentences was presented four times. Forgetting was measured via cued recall at three retention intervals (30 s, 1 hr, and 24 hr). A different third of the original sentences was tested at each delay. The results of both experiments showed that initial acquisition is influenced by age. However, the rate of forgetting proved to be independent from initial degree of learning. The conclusion is that rates of forgetting are independent from initial degree of learning.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalQuarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)
Early online date15 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sept 2022

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