ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (10): 1142-1150.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01142

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


彭华茂1, 毛晓飞2,1()   

  1. 1北京师范大学发展心理研究院, 北京 100875
    2第二军医大学心理系, 上海200433
  • 收稿日期:2017-09-27 发布日期:2018-08-23 出版日期:2018-10-15
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金项目(31000466)

Will the deficit in inhibition increase the rates of tip-of-the-tongue among the elderly?

PENG Huamao1, MAO Xiaofei2,1()   

  1. 1 Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2 Department of Psychology, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2017-09-27 Online:2018-08-23 Published:2018-10-15


抑制不足理论认为老年人抑制能力不足, 易受干扰信息的影响, 阻碍对目标词的检索, 故比年轻人有更多舌尖现象。实验1操纵抑制通达子功能探讨其在老年人舌尖现象中的作用, 采用2(干扰条件:有、无)×2(年龄组:老年、年轻)的混合设计, 相比于无干扰条件, 干扰条件下舌尖现象年龄差异变得更大, 表明老年人舌尖现象和通达功能有关。实验2操纵抑制删除子功能, 采用2(是否激活干扰:是、否)×2(年龄组:老年、年轻)的混合设计, 不激活干扰条件下舌尖现象年龄差异不显著, 而激活干扰条件下舌尖现象年龄差异显著, 舌尖现象随龄增多与删除功能不足有关。通达和删除功能不足是老年人舌尖现象增多的重要原因。

关键词: 舌尖现象, 老年人, 抑制, 通达, 删除


The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) refers to when a speaker seems to have accessed a word’s meaning adequately but is unable to complete the sound form or phonological label of the word. Both diary studies that document TOT episodes and experimental methods designed to generate TOT have demonstrated that older adults experience more TOT than young or middle-aged adults. With regard to the aging mechanism, the inhibition deficit theory supposed that older adults are more likely than young adults to fail to retrieve the words due to the activation the irrelevant information, which interfere with the retrieval of the target name. The contents of inhibition include limiting access to irrelevant information (access), deleting information that is no longer relevant (deletion), and restraining the production of dominant responses (restrain). This study consisted of two experimental tasks, which were designed to explore the roles of access and deletion functions respectively in TOT among the elderly.

In experiment 1, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (interferential condition: with/without interference) mixed design was adopted to examine the role of access function in TOT among the old adults. In order to investigate the impact of deletion function, 30 young people (aged 18 to 33 years) and 30 older adults (aged 60 to 79 years) were recruited. Participants in interference condition were asked to not pay attention to the interferential stimuli when performing the TOT task. To examine the role of deletion function in TOT among the elderly, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (activating condition: activate interferential stimuli or not) mixed design was adopted in experiment 2. Thirty young people (aged 19 to 27 years) and 30 older adults (aged 61 to 78 years) were recruited for experiment 2 and they were presented the interferential stimuli before the TOT task in the condition of activating interferential stimuli.

A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data. In experiment 1, the interaction between age and interference condition were significant. Only the old group had significantly higher rates of TOT in the condition with interference than that of those without interference. In order to analyze the role of access function further, we compared the age difference between the 2 conditions, and the age difference in the interference condition was significantly larger. This result indicated that the access function influences the rates of TOT among the old people. In experiment 2, the interaction between age and activating condition was significant. The old group had higher rates of TOT in the condition of activating interferential stimuli, rather than the young group.

The results demonstrated that the deficits in access and deletion functions of older adults may be responsible for the higher rates of TOT, which provided supportive evidence for the inhibition deficit theory. The study implied that intervention on inhibition may be useful in improving the TOT of old adults.

Key words: tip-of-the-tongue, the elderly, inhibition, access, deletion