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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


PARENTE, Maria Alice de Mattos Pimenta; CAPUANO, Andréa  and  NESPOULOUS, Jean-Luc. Mental model activation in the recall of stories by older adults. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1999, vol.12, n.1, pp.157-172. ISSN 0102-7972.

Text comprehension is a complex activity that requires resources from short term memory (STM) and from episodic memory (EM). Strategies directed to goals and intentions avoid an overload of the STM and activates the EM. To study the influence of aging on those mechanisms, we analyzed the recall of a story by two different groups of adults: 17 subjects, 30 to 50 years old, and 14 with more than 60 years of age. The younger group remembered more propositions than the elders, but both groups recalled better the macro than the microstructure. No differences regarding number of inference, interference, and reconstruction were found. Nevertheless, residual analysis showed that younger adults organized their recall telling the actions of the original story, whereas the older adults chose a subjective organization of the main facts, suggesting that due to a reduction of the working memory, the elderly elaborated strategies to have access to information of the EM, showing their mental representations in their recall.

Keywords : Aging; text processing; memory; mental models; psycholinguistics.

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