Divergent thinking likely plays an important role in simulating autobiographical events. We investigated whether divergent thinking is differentially associated with the ability to construct detailed imagined future and imagined past events as opposed to recalling past events. We also examined whether age differences in divergent thinking might underlie the reduced episodic detail generated by older adults. The richness of episodic detail comprising autobiographical events in young and older adults was assessed using the Autobiographical Interview. Divergent thinking abilities were measured using the Alternative Uses Task. Divergent thinking was significantly associated with the amount of episodic detail for imagined future events. Moreover, while age was significantly associated with imagined episodic detail, this effect was strongly related to age-related changes in episodic retrieval rather than divergent thinking.
Keywords: Ageing; Autobiographical; Divergent thinking; Episodic memory; Prospection; Simulation.