Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Stacey Wood

Reader 2

Alan Hartley

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Allison J. Midden


The current study explored the influence of priming vantage point at retrieval on the recall of younger and older adults, in addition to the effects of visualization ability on recall. Based on McIsaac and Eich’s (2002) findings of the effects on younger adults’ recall, it was hypothesized that recollections would be more likely to include certain features when retrieved through the field vantage point (FVP) than through the observer vantage point (OVP) and vice-versa. Additionally, it was expected that older adults would recall more detailed memories from the OVP than from the FVP. Finally, it was hypothesized that visualization ability would influence memory vividness and that it would be more influential in older adults than in younger adults. The experiment was conducted across two sessions. In Session 1, participants completed a visual imagery assessment, and memories were created in the laboratory with younger (n = 20; 18-21 years old) and older (n = 18; 63-88 years old) adults through the completion of two activities. In Session 2, participants recalled the activities from either the FVP or the OVP. Participants’ recollections were coded for various memory characteristics, which acted as dependent variables in analyses. A significant interaction effect (p = .003) between age and vantage point was found on the characteristic of psychological state, such that older adults referred to their psychological state in FVP memories more than in OVP memories (p = .002), while younger adults demonstrated no significant difference. Imagery ability significantly predicted several aspects of participants’ subjective recall experience. Overall, the results indicate that retrieval vantage point does not change the content of one’s recollections on most measures for either younger or older adults and that visual mental imagery ability predicts several aspects of one’s recall experience.