Name recall performance across the adult life-span



Everyday name-recall tests were administered to 1205 adults ranging in age from 18 to 90 years. They were asked to recall sets of four, six, or 14 names of individuals who introduced themselves on videotape. Immediate recall, acquisition, and delayed retention were examined. The results showed consistent age-related declines in name recall. Declines in performance were more evident on sets of 14 names rather than four or six names. Age deficits remained across several acquisition trials within the set of 14 names. The largest declines were evident for the old-old (over 70), although there were also significant performance differences, on some analyses, between the young and middle-aged groups. Changes in performance were less apparent during the middle-aged years (40−60 years). Name recall was related to individual differences factors, reaction time and paired-associate memory for names. The value of assessment and intervention with name recall was stressed.