Strategic encoding and retrieval processes in verbal recall among middle-aged and older adults

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The authors used an analysis of individual differences to examine the role of executive control in strategic encoding and retrieval in verbal recall. Participants enrolled in the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study completed measures of working memory (WM), cognitive status, vocabulary, and free recall of words. Indices of clustering in free recall were calculated to permit inferences on strategic encoding and retrieval processes. We hypothesized that WM would be more strongly associated with strategic encoding and retrieval metrics than vocabulary based on the assumption that successful remembering requires executive control in WM. Regression analyses, together with a variance portioning procedure, confirmed that WM had comparable levels of unique and shared variance with the strategic encoding and retrieval metrics, and both exceeded vocabulary. Theoretical and clinical implications of these data are considered, with the suggestion of future research in lifespan samples as opposed to exclusively young adult or older adult samples.

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The British journal of developmental psychology

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