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Transitive inference is a complex task, conducive to the use of multiple strategies. We investigated whether transitive inference accuracy can be improved by biasing strategy choice towards a proposition-based approach that relies on the extraction of relations among stimuli. We biased strategy choice by using familiar stimuli with known relations that tap prior knowledge. Semantic information led to increased accuracy for younger and older adults, and increased awareness of stimulus relations. Increased age was associated with reduced awareness. Awareness accounted for the variability in performance accuracy to a greater extent than age, as aware older and younger adults showed similar accuracies on all conditions. The current work indicates that age differences in performance can be minimized by providing semantically meaningful stimuli that bias participants to use a relational proposition-based approach.
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- Relational framework improves transitive inference across age groups
Sandra N. Moses
Melanie L. Ostreicher
Jennifer D. Ryan