Cross-cultural study on adult age-group differences in the recall of the literal and interpretive meanings of narrative text

Aya Hosokawa, Toru Hosokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined cultural and age differences in the recall of the literal and interpretive meanings of narrative text. Twenty Japanese younger adults (age: M = 21.05, SD = 1.02), 20 Japanese older adults (age: M = 66.95, SD = 1.71), 20 American younger adults (age M = 21.7, SD = 1.76), and 16 American older adults (age M = 69.56, SD = 3.43) participated in this study. One story rich in both literal and interpretive content was used as a stimulus text for two recall tasks, to retell and interpret the story. The response task order was counterbalanced across the participants for each group. When asked to retell a story as close to the original as possible, the younger adults in both of the two cultural groups recalled more of the literal propositions than did the older adults. Both older and younger adults in the two cultural groups recalled more of the main ideas relative to the details; however, when asked to interpret the same story, more older than younger adults represented deep and synthetic representations of the story's interpretive meanings in the Japanese group. The interpretive responses by both the older and younger adults were almost to the same extent on depth; however, the younger adults' responses were slightly higher on synthesis in the American group. These interpretive patterns stem from cultural background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-90
Number of pages14
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May

Keywords

  • Deep interpretation
  • Interpretation task
  • Retelling task
  • Synthetic interpretation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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