100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 34 - 36 out of 88 pages.
episodic memory than older adults have, both for real and imagined events(Despres & others, 2017; Sandrini & others, 2016; Wang & Cabeza, 2017). Arecent study found that episodic memory performance predicted whichindividuals would develop dementia 10 years prior to the clinical diagnosisof the disease (Boraxbekk & others, 2015).Autobiographical memories are stored as episodic memories.A robustfinding in autobiographical memory is called thereminiscence bump,inwhich adults remember more events from the second and third decades oftheir lives than from other decades (Berntsen & Rubin, 2002;Rathbone,O’Connor, & Moulin, 2017;Steiner & others, 2014). The “bump” is foundmore for positive than negative life events. One study revealed support forthe reminiscence bump and indicated that these memories were moredistinct and more important for identity development (Demiray, Gulgoz, &Bluck, 2009).Semantic memoryis a person’s knowledge about the world. It includes aperson’s fields of expertise (such as knowledge of chess, for a skilled chessplayer); general academic knowledge of the sort learned in school (such asknowledge of geometry); and “everyday knowledge” about meanings ofwords, famous individuals, important places, and common things (such aswho Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi are). For the most part, episodicmemory declines more than semantic memory in older adults (Kuo & others,2014; Lustig & Lin, 2016).Although older adults often take longer to retrieve semantic information,usually they can ultimately retrieve it. As shown inFigure 12, semanticmemory continues to increase through the fifties, showing little decline
even through the sixties (Ronnlund & others, 2005).Figure 12also showshow the gap between semantic and episodic memory widens during middleand late adulthood. In one study, after almost five decades adults identifiedpictures of their high school classmates with better than 70 percentaccuracy (Bahrick, Bahrick, & Wittlinger, 1975). How well do most adultsremember the actual subjects they learned in high school, however? Inthe Connecting with Researchinterlude, we focus on another study thatexamined the developmental aspects of semantic memory.FIGURE 12CHANGESIN EPISODIC AND SEMANTIC MEMORY IN ADULTHOODconnecting with researchHOW WELL DO ADULTS REMEMBER WHAT THEY LEARNED IN HIGHSCHOOL AND COLLEGE SPANISH?When older adults are assessed for what they learned in high school orcollege, researchers find neither great durability in memory nor hugedeterioration (Salthouse, 1991). In one study, non-Latino adults of variousages in the United States were studied to determine how much Spanish theyremembered from classes they had taken in high school or college (Bahrick,1984). The individuals chosen for the study had used Spanish very little sincethey initially learned it in high school or college. Not surprisingly, youngadults who had taken Spanish classes within the last three yearsremembered their Spanish best. After that, the deterioration in memory wasvery gradual (see Figure 13). For example, older adults who had studied