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Question: 2.5 According to the information-processing theory, explain the age-related differences in memory capacity between older and younger people. Provide TWO (2) examples to illustrate these differences.
The Information-Processing Theory considers the human brain as a highly complex processing system, similar to a computer that encodes, stores, and retrieves information. It suggests that age-related differences in memory capacity largely stem from a decrease in processing resources, which include speed of processing, working memory capacity, and attentional resources. 1) Speed of Processing: It refers to how fast one can perceive information and respond to it. As people age, they often experience a slowdown in cognitive processing speed. For example, a young individual might quickly recall a phone number after a single glance while an older individual might need to look at the number a few times or jot it down to remember it. 2) Working Memory Capacity: This is our ability to temporarily hold and manipulate information in our minds. As people get older, their working memory capacity tends to decrease due to the normal aging process. For example, in a grocery store, a young person might remember the entire shopping list after just one read, while an older person may forget some items and need to repeatedly check the list. 3) Attentional Resources: Respective of the age group, the ability to focus or distribute attention influences the success of memory encoding and maintenance. Older adults often have more difficulty multitasking or focusing on multiple stimuli. To illustrate, a young person may be able to efficiently drive while having a conversation or listening to music, yet an older individual may find it difficult to maintain the same level of attention on driving while being distracted. Each of these factors contributes to the overall age-related differences in memory capacity, with older individuals generally experiencing a decline in these areas compared to younger ones. Nonetheless, it's important to note that individual differences can significantly impact the degree of these age-related changes.
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