The Effect of Aging on Script Memory for Typical and Atypical Actions

Eli Vakil, Chaya Mosak, Mira Ashkenazi

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2 Scopus citations


When typical and atypical information about a situation are presented, the atypical is found to be better recognized. This phenomenon is referred to as the "typicality effect." To test whether the typicality effect is age related, 41 younger and 36 older participants listened to two scripts that consisted of typical and atypical activities. The recognition was scored in two ways-with and without taking confidence rating into account. The two scoring systems yielded a similar pattern of results. Nevertheless, the weighted scores analyses were more sensitive to group differences than the unweighted scores. The older adults demonstrated typicality effect with the false alarm and hit rates corrected for false alarms scores but not with the hit rate score. A key factor in understanding the effect of age on the typicality effect is taking into consideration the conservative response bias found in the older group. The clinical contribution of these findings, in terms of assessment and remediation of age-related memory impairment, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Neuropsychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Schnitzer Foundation for Research on the Israeli Economy and Society.


  • Atypical actions
  • Memory
  • Old adults
  • Typical actions
  • Young adults


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