Pro- and retrospective memory in late adulthood

Consciousness and Cognition 10 (4):451-472 (2001)
Abstract
Everyday tasks, such as getting groceries en route from work, involve two distinct components, one prospective (i.e., remembering the plan) and the other retrospective (i.e., remembering the grocery list). The present investigation examined the size of the age-related performance declines in these components, as well as the relationship between these components and age-related differences in processing resources. The subjects were 133 community-dwelling adults between 65 and 95 years of age. They completed a large battery of tests, including tests of pro- and retrospective memory as well as tests for indexing processing resources. The results showed similar age-related declines in pro- and retrospective memory. There was only a weak relationship between pro- and retrospective memory, and the age-related decline in processing resources was related more strongly to retro- than prospective memory.
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