Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Keith Horton

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Evidence concerning age differences on perceptual implicit memory tests has been inconsistent, with some studies showing no age effects and others showing reduced priming in older adults. Recently, research on implicit tests that focus more on the semantic features of words has typically shown no reliable age effect on priming scores. In the present study we examined the pattern of age effects on a conceptual (general knowledge) and a perceptual (word stem completion) implicit test Explicit memory performance was measured using cued word recall and fact recall tests. The nature of the encoding task used for each test was also manipulated in order to examine levels of processing effects. Young, middle age and older adults were tested to determine if any significant age differences would be found on the memory tests. Significant age differences were found on both the word stem completion and general knowledge tests, even though all age groups demonstrated significant priming on these tests. The explicit test of cued word recall also demonstrated significant age differences, yet fact recall failed to produce significant age effects. A reverse depth effect was found on the general knowledge and cued word recall tests. Based on the results it was concluded that age differences exist on both perceptual and conceptual implicit memory tests.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season