We investigated retest learning (i.e., performance improvement through retest practice) in the absence of item- specific effects (i.e., learning through memorizing or becoming familiar with specific items) with older adults. Thirty-one older adults (ages 60–82 years, M = 71.10, SD = 6.27) participated in an eight-session self-guided retest program. To eliminate item-specific effects, parallel versions of representative psychometric measures for Induc- tive Reasoning, Perceptual Speed, and Visual Attention were developed and administered across retest sessions. The results showed substantial non-item-specific retest learning, even controlling for anxiety, suggesting that re- test learning in older adults can occur at a more conceptual level.
Russo, Frank A.; Yang, Lixia; Reed, Maureen; and Wilkinson, Andrea, "A New Look at Retest Learning in Older Adults: Learning in the Absence of Item-Specific Effects" (2009). Psychology Publications and Research. Paper 14.