Specific and partial source memory: Effects of aging

Simons, J.S., Dodson, C.S., Bell, D., & Schacter, D.L. (2004). Psychology and Aging, 19, 689-694.

Normal aging can be associated with impairments in source memory (recollecting an event's context). The present study examined the effects of aging on specific source memory (e.g., remembering which of four people spoke a word) and "partial" source memory (e.g., remembering the gender of the person who spoke the word). When young and elderly adults were matched in terms of old/new recognition, age-related deficits were observed on both specific and partial source recollection. When the groups were matched on partial source performance, no disproportionate specific source impairment was seen. The results suggest aging does not differentially affect specific versus partial source memory.