Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Christina Frederick-Recascino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dennis Vincenzi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marvin Smith, Ph.D.


The overall purpose of this study was to foster a greater understanding of age-related memory loss as it pertains to the aging workforce's ability to remain productive and effective in a time of complex change, and to recommend some adjustments that can be made to compensate for these memory declines. The specific intent of this current project was to test one premise of Ericsson and Chase's Skilled Memory Theory, namely that memory skill is a skill that can be developed through enhanced encoding and through practice. By introducing participants to the simple mnemonic strategy of chunking and by allowing two different study times, it was hypothesized that recall would be higher for the groups instructed to use the chunking than for the no-strategy group. It was also hypothesized that the group given the longer study time would outperform the group given the shorter time. Results of the study did not support either hypotheses.