Response Bias in "Remembering" Emotional Stimuli: A New Perspective on Age Differences

  • Kapucu A
  • Rotello C
  • Ready R
 et al. 
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Older adults sometimes show a recall advantage for emotionally positive, rather than neutral or negative, stimuli (S. T. Charles, M. Mather, & L. L. Carstensen, 2003). In contrast, younger adults respond "old" and "remember" more often to negative materials in recognition tests. For younger adults, both effects are due to response bias changes rather than to enhanced memory accuracy (S. Dougal & C. M. Rotello, 2007). We presented older and younger adults with emotional and neutral stimuli in a remember-know paradigm. Signal-detection and model-based analyses showed that memory accuracy did not differ for the neutral, negative, and positive stimuli, and that "remember" responses did not reflect the use of recollection. However, both age groups showed large and significant response bias effects of emotion: Younger adults tended to say "old" and "remember" more often in response to negative words than to positive and neutral words, whereas older adults responded "old" and "remember" more often to both positive and negative words than to neutral stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • emotional memory age
  • remember-know judgments
  • response bias

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  • Aycan Kapucu

  • Caren M. Rotello

  • Rebecca E. Ready

  • Katharina N. Seidl

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