Retrieval of performed versus to-be-performed tasks: A naturalistic study of the intention-superiority effect in normal aging and dementia

E A Maylor, R J Darby, S Della Sala

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Maylor et al. (in press a) reported a long-term intention-superiority effect whereby young adults reported significantly more to-be-performed than performed tasks in a speeded written fluency task. Two experiments investigated whether this effect is also present in older adults and dementia patients. In Experiment 1, middle-aged (n = 40) and older adults (n = 44) were given a minute to recall what they did in the last few days (performed tasks), and a minute to recall what they intended to do in the next few days (to-be-performed tasks). Then was no intention-superiority effect for the middle-aged adults but there was a significant intention-inferiority effect for the older adults. Verbal rather than written recall was used in Experiment 2 to compare young adults (n = 30), older adults (n = 19), and patients with Alzheimer's disease (n = 22). There was an intention-superiority effect for young adults, but not for older adults or dementia patients. The absence of an intention-superiority effect may contribute to the decline in prospective memory performance seen in both normal aging and dementia. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S83-S98
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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