Personality and organizational strategies in episodic memory: The role of Openness to experience on recall and subjective organization in young and older adults.

By Florent Pinard, Sandrine Vanneste, Badiâa Bouazzaoui, Séverine Fay, Michel Isingrini, Lucie Angel, Erika Borella, Laurence Taconnat

The aim of this study was to examine, in young and older adults, the relationship between Openness to experience, subjective organization strategy abilities and memory performance. Fifty younger and 41 older adults learned a list of unrelated words andhad to recall them successively 3 times, in order for us to calculate asubjective organization index (Pair Frequency, PF). Level of Opennesswas measured with the NEO-PI-R French version (BFI-Fr) of the Big-Five personality questionnaire. Older adults recalled and organized fewerwords than younger adults. Openness was positively correlated with recallfor both groups and with PF only in the older group. PF and Opennesssignificantly explained recall in younger adults, while in older adults, onlyOpenness accounted for recall. Openness contributed to PF only in olderadults. A high score on the Openness trait could be considered as a reservefactor, reducing the age-related memory decline by fostering the accumulationof knowledge and the development of resources throughout life.

  • episodic memory
  • memory strategy
  • aging
  • Openness to experience
  • personality
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