Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Confidence In Memory Performance Helps Older Adults Remember

Date:
March 8, 2006
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
Believing that you can retain a good memory even in your twilight years is the first step to achieving that goal. Those who believe they can control their memory are more likely to employ mnemonic strategies that help keep memory fit despite the march of time. These are the conclusions of a new Brandeis study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

Believing that you can retain a good memory even in your twilight years is the first step to achieving that goal. Those who believe they can control their memory are more likely to employ mnemonic strategies that help keep memory fit despite the march of time. These are the conclusions of a new Brandeis study published in the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences.

Related Articles


The study demonstrates a link between actual cognitive functioning and a low sense of control, and examines whether the relationship between control beliefs and memory performance varies for young, middle-aged, and older adults and whether using mnemonic strategies influences memory performance.

"One's sense of control is both a precursor and a consequence of age-related losses in memory," says lead author Margie Lachman, professor of psychology and director of the Lifespan Lab at Brandeis University. "Our study shows that the more you believe there are things you can do to remember information, the more likely you will be to use effort and adaptive strategies and to allocate resources effectively, and the less you will worry about forgetting."

Funded by the National Institute on Aging, the study involved 335 adults, ages 21 to 83, who were asked to recall a list of 30 categorizable words, such as types of fruit and flowers. Middle-aged and older adults who perceived greater control over cognitive functioning were more likely to categorize the words and had better recall performance, Lachman notes.

"It's no surprise that age-related losses or lapses in memory can challenge our deeply embedded sense of control," says Lachman. "Thus, we find an increase with age in beliefs that memory declines are an inevitable, irreversible, and uncontrollable part of the aging process. These beliefs are detrimental because they are associated with distress, anxiety, and giving up without expending the effort or strategies needed to support memory."

In fact, even young people have problems with memory performance, though they typically chalk it up to distraction or other external factors. In contrast, older adults are more likely to judge their forgetfulness an inevitable fact of aging or even a warning sign of Alzheimer's disease, leading to anxiety and despair.

Those who don't use adaptive strategies for remembering often have the expectation that there is nothing they can do to improve memory. The study's results suggest that interventions that target conceptions of control over memory could be effective for improving strategy use and enhancing memory in middle and later adulthood.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "Confidence In Memory Performance Helps Older Adults Remember." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060307220219.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2006, March 8). Confidence In Memory Performance Helps Older Adults Remember. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060307220219.htm
Brandeis University. "Confidence In Memory Performance Helps Older Adults Remember." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060307220219.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins