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This research investigated the effect of aging on episodic feeling-of-knowing (FOK) using a divided attention (DA) paradigm in order to examine whether DA in younger adults mimics the effects of aging when decreasing either memory encoding or monitoring processes. To that end, four groups of participants were tested on the FOK task: young adults (control group), young adults under DA at encoding, young adults under DA when making FOK judgments, and older adults. Our results showed that DA at encoding in young adults mimicked the effect of aging on memory performance, and also on FOK magnitude and accuracy, supporting the memory-constraint hypothesis (Hertzog et al., 2010). However, our results do not completely contradict the monitoring-deficit hypothesis, as DA during FOK judgments also affected FOK accuracy, but to a lesser extent than the aging effect or DA during encoding. We suggest that the age-related FOK deficit may be due to a lower level of deep encoding, leading to difficulty retrieving target-related contextual details enabling accurate prediction of subsequent recognition. © 2013.


Mathilde Sacher, Michel Isingrini, Laurence Taconnat. Effects of aging and divided attention on episodic feeling-of-knowing accuracy. Acta psychologica. 2013 Oct;144(2):258-63

PMID: 23928496

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