Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The present investigation was designed to study the relationship between the ability to forget unwanted information and age. Hypotheses were evaluated through the use of the Directed Forgetting Paradigm (Bjork, 1972) in which the position of a cue to forget items of information was varied. Parts of the present investigation were a replication of a 1974 Timmins study. The two groups participating in this study were an "elderly" group of 24 subjects between 60 and 80 years of age, and a "young" group of 24 general psychology students. Each subject participated in four conditions, and in each condition the subjects were given 3 lists of words. They were asked to forget one of the 3 lists in each condition and the other two lists they were asked to remember. In general the results showed that an F-cue was most effective when it preceded the list of words to which it referred. Both recall and recognition test results showed the same overall patterns. As hypothesized, the young recalled significantly more words on three dependent measures. These results show less efficient memory processes for the elderly. Two of the conditions in the present investigation could be directly compared to the Timmins study. Results show Timmins recall and recognition percentages to be greater; however, the same patterns existed.


Robert Markley

Date of Award

Summer 1986

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1986 Mike C. Spencer


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