Faculty Mentor

Danielle Sitzman

Document Type


Publication Date





Previous research suggests that prior knowledge plays an important role in error correction for younger adults. When younger adults have high levels of prior knowledge of a question, but answer that question incorrectly, they are more likely to correct that error on a later test than questions where they have little prior knowledge. Older adults tend to remember information consistent with their prior knowledge. Thus, when their prior knowledge is incorrect, they may have difficultly updating their memory to the correct information. Across several experiments, older and younger adults answered 120 general knowledge questions, rated their confidence in the accuracy of their response, were shown the correct answer, and were then asked to indicate their level of prior knowledge of a question. After either 6 minutes or 1 week, participants answered the same general knowledge questions. Follow up experiments explored whether, after a week, participants were able to remember their initial answer or if they forgot their initial answer and replaced that memory with the new correct information. Overall, both prior knowledge and memory for the initial incorrect response played a role in error correction.

Included in

Psychology Commons