Memory Control Theory & Memory Beliefs Article List

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Papers:

 

Hülür, G., Hertzog, C., Pearman, A. M., & Gerstorf, D. (2015). Correlates and Moderators of Change in Subjective Memory and Memory Performance: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. Gerontology, 61, 232-240.

ABSTRACT: Aging researchers have long been interested in understanding individuals’ subjective perceptions of their own memory functioning. Previous research has shown that subjective memory ratings are partly based on memory performance but also reflect the influence of other factors, such as depressive symptoms. The aim of the present study was to examine (1) longitudinal associations between trajectories of subjective memory and memory performance, (2) variables that predict levels of and changes in subjective memory and memory performance, and (3) variables that moderate associations between these constructs. We applied a latent growth curve model to four occasions of data from 15,824 participants of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; mean age at baseline = 64.27 years, SD = 9.90; 58% women). Results revealed that latent changes in subjective memory were correlated with latent changes in memory performance (φ = 0.49), indicating that participants who reported steeper declines of subjective memory indeed showed steeper declines of memory performance over time. Three major patterns of associations emerged with respect to predictors of subjective memory and subjective memory change. First, the level of memory performance showed stronger associations with age, gender, and education, whereas subjective memory was more strongly associated with subjective age and personality traits. For example, women performed better than men on the episodic memory test, but there were no gender differences in subjective memory. Also, older age was associated with steeper declines of memory performance but with less decline of subjective memory. Second, personality traits that predicted subjective memory intercepts did not predict subjective memory slopes. Third, the strength of associations between levels and slopes of subjective memory and memory performance varied as a function of gender, education, depressive symptoms, and personality traits. Conscientiousness moderated the relationship of the level of subjective memory to the level of memory performance, consistent with the hypothesis that persons high in conscientiousness more accurately monitor memory successes and failures. The results reinforce the importance of depressive symptoms as a predictor of subjective memory but also indicate that a broader perspective on the reasons why memory complaints have modest correlations with memory itself is needed.

External Link: doi: 10.1159/000369010

 

Hülür, G., Hertzog, C., Pearman, A., Ram, N., & Gerstorf, D. (2014). Longitudinal associations of subjective memory with memory performance and depressive symptoms: Between-person and within-person perspectives.  Psychology and Aging, 29, 814-817.

ABSTRACT: Clinical diagnostic criteria for memory loss in adults typically assume that subjective memory ratings accurately reflect compromised memory functioning. Research has documented small positive between-person associations between subjective memory and memory performance in older adults. Less is known, however, about whether within-person fluctuations in subjective memory covary with within-person variance in memory performance and depressive symptoms. The present study applied multilevel models of change to 9 waves of data from 27,395 participants of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; mean age at baseline = 63.78; SD = 10.30; 58% women) to examine whether subjective memory is associated with both between-person differences and within-person variability in memory performance and depressive symptoms and explored the moderating role of known correlates (age, gender, education, and functional limitations). Results revealed that across persons, level of subjective memory indeed covaried with level of memory performance and depressive symptoms, with small-to-moderate between-person standardized effect sizes (0.19 for memory performance and -0.21 for depressive symptoms). Within individuals, occasions when participants scored higher than usual on a test of episodic memory or reported fewer-than-average depressive symptoms generated above-average subjective memory. At the within-person level, subjective memory ratings became more sensitive to within-person alterations in memory performance over time and those suffering from functional limitations were more sensitive to withinperson alterations in memory performance and depressive symptoms. We take our results to suggest that within-person changes in subjective memory in part reflect monitoring flux in one’s own memory functioning, but are also influenced by flux in depressive symptoms.

External Link: doi: 10.1037/a0037619

 

Pearman, A. M., Hertzog, C., & Gerstorf, D. (2014).  Little evidence for links between memory complaints and memory performance in very old age: Longitudinal analyses from the Berlin Aging Study.  Psychology and Aging, 29, 828-842.

ABSTRACT: Cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between memory complaint and memory performance were examined in a sample of old-old participants from the Berlin Aging Study (BASE; N = 504, ages 70 to 100, age M = 84.7 at study onset). Participants were measured 4 times over the course of 6 years. Similar to many previous studies, initial cross-sectional memory complaints were predicted by depression and neuroticism, but not memory performance. Subjective age also predicted memory complaint independent of other variables. Latent growth curve models based on age and time in the study revealed that memory complaints did not change in level with age or time, and manifested no reliable random effects (individual differences in change). These models also detected no significant relationship between changes in memory and either initial memory complaint or changes in memory complaint over age or over time. None of the covariates that predicted initial memory complaints were related to changes in memory complaints over time. An autoregressive latent variable model for memory complaints, consistent with a conceptualization of complaints as judgments constructed from beliefs and other influences in the moment, did detect a concurrent effect of memory on memory complaints at the third occasion, controlling on initial complaints. These results suggest that for the oldest-old, changes in memory complaints may not primarily reflect monitoring of actual age-related memory changes, but rather are affected by other variables, including age-based memory stereotypes, neuroticism, depression, and concerns about aging.

External Link: doi: 10.1037/a0037141

 

Hertzog, C., & Pearman, A. M. (2014).  Memory complaints in adulthood and old age. In T. J. Perfect & D. Stephen Lindsay (Eds.), Handbook of Applied Memory (pp. 423-443).  London, England: Sage.

External Link: doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446294703.n24

 

Hertzog, C., Lineweaver, T. T., & Hines, J. C. (2014). Computerized assessment of age differences in memory beliefs. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 119, 609-628.

ABSTRACT: Beliefs about memory play a role in older adults’ concerns about aging and can influence their performance on memory tasks. Visual analog scales can capture beliefs about how aging affects memory in general (the General Beliefs About Memory Instrument [GBMI]) and one’s own memory (the Personal Beliefs About Memory Instrument [PBMI]). Data were combined across four cross-sectional studies of adults who had completed the two measures, contrasting traditional paper-and-pencil versions of the questionnaires with newer computerized versions that use a computer mouse for visual analog scaling. This scaling method is easy to use and automates scoring of graphic rating scale responses. Adults of all ages produced GBMI responses reflecting their belief that memory declines with advancing age. Older adults’ PBMI responses indicated that they perceived their memory ability more negatively than those of young adults and middle-aged adults. Adults of all ages were able to use the computerized questionnaires without difficulty, making these measures suitable for use in adult developmental research.

External Link: doi: 10.2466/03.10.PMS.119c23z4

 

Bottiroli, S., Cavallini, E., Fastame, M. C., & Hertzog, C. (2013). Cultural differences in rated typicality and perceived causes of memory changes in adulthood. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 57, 271-281.

ABSTRACT: This study examined cultural differences in stereotypes and attributions regarding aging and memory. Two subcultures belonging to the same country, Italy, were compared on general beliefs about memory. Sardinians live longer than other areas of Italy, which is a publically shared fact that informs stereotypes about that subculture. An innovative instrument evaluating simultaneously aging stereotypes and attributions about memory and memory change in adulthood was administered to 52 Sardinian participants and 52 Milanese individuals divided into three age groups: young (20–30), young–old (60–70), and old–old (71–85) adults. Both Milanese and Sardinians reported that memory decline across the life span is more typical than a pattern of stability or improvement. However, Sardinians viewed stability and improvement in memory as more typical than did the Milanese. Interestingly, cultural differences emerged in attributions about memory improvement. Although all Sardinian age groups rated nutrition and heredity as relevant causes in determining the memory decline, Sardinians’ rated typicality of lifespan memory improvement correlated strongly with causal attributions to a wide number of factors, including nutrition and heredity.

External Link: doi:10.1016/j.archger.2013.03.005

 

Cavallini, E., Bottiroli, S., Fastame, M. C., & Hertzog, C. (2013). Age and subcultural differences on personal and general beliefs about memory. Journal of Aging Studies, 27, 71-81.

ABSTRACT: This study examined age and cultural differences on both personal and general beliefs about memory by comparing three age groups within two subcultures belonging to the same country: Milanese and Sardinian. Two innovative instruments on general and personal beliefs with graphic-rating-scale format (General Beliefs about Memory Instrument and Personal Beliefs about Memory Instrument) and a memory task (recall of 40 words) were administrated to participants. Sardinians held more positive attitudes about the effects of aging on memory reporting a later onset of declining memory ability and control over memory across the life span. They were also more optimistic in rating their global memory efficacy, control, and retrospective change. The two subcultural groups differed in terms of memory performance, with Sardinian individuals outperforming the Milanese. Findings are discussed in relation to the view of aging in different subcultural contexts.

External Link: doi: 10.1016/j.aging.2012.11.002

 

Horhota, M., Lineweaver, T., Ositelu, M., Summers, K., & Hertzog, C. (2012). Young and older adults’ beliefs about effective ways to mitigate age-related memory decline. Psychology and Aging, 27, 293-304.

ABSTRACT: This study investigated whether young and older adults vary in their beliefs about the impact of various mitigating factors on age-related memory decline. Eighty young (ages 18 –23) and 80 older (ages 60 – 82) participants reported their beliefs about their own memory abilities and the strategies that they use in their everyday lives to attempt to control their memory. Participants also reported their beliefs about memory change with age for hypothetical target individuals who were described as using (or not using) various means to mitigate memory decline. There were no age differences in personal beliefs about control over current or future memory ability. However, the two age groups differed in the types of strategies they used in their everyday life to control their memory. Young adults were more likely to use internal memory strategies, whereas older adults were more likely to focus on cognitive exercise and maintaining physical health as ways to optimize their memory ability. There were no age differences in rated memory change across the life span in hypothetical individuals. Both young and older adults perceived strategies related to improving physical and cognitive health as effective means of mitigating memory loss with age, whereas internal memory strategies were perceived as less effective means for controlling age related memory decline.

External Link: doi: 10.1037/a0026088

 

Hertzog, C., McGuire, C. L., Horhota, M., & Jopp, D. (2010). Age differences in lay theories about memory control: Older adults believe in “use it or lose it.” International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70, 61-87.

ABSTRACT: After an oral free recall task, participants were interviewed about their memory. Despite reporting similar levels of perceived personal control over memory, older and young adults differed in the means in which they believed memory could be controlled. Older adults cited health and wellness practices and exercising memory, consistent with a ‘use it or lose it’ belief system, more often than young adults who were more likely to mention metacognition and flexible strategy use as means of memory control. Young adults reported using more effective relational strategy use during study for a free recall test. Use of relational strategies predicted recall in both age groups, but did not materially affect age differences in performance. Metacognitive beliefs, including implicit theories about aging and memory decline, memory self concept, and perceived control over memory functioning did not systematically correlate with strategy use or recall.

External Link:

 

Hertzog, C., & Jopp, D. S. (2010). Resilience in the face of cognitive aging: Experience, adaptation, and compensation. In P. S. Fry & C. Keyes (Eds.), New frontiers in resilient aging: Life-strengths and wellness in late life (pp. 130-161). NY, NY: Cambridge University Press.

ABSTRACT: We articulate a life-span developmental perspective on gains and losses in cognitive functioning during adulthood. This perspective argues that older adults function effectively in ways that preserve goal attainment in cognitively demanding situations despite age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, because individuals grow and age in self-selected contexts, they can successfully use expertise and knowledge, practiced routines of behavior, and reliance on sources of support in their environment to maximize their functional capacity. Metacognitive self-regulation and an active life style can be important means for older adults to preserve cognitive capacity and to effectively compensate for declines in cognitive mechanisms as they occur.

External Link: doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511763151.007

 

Lineweaver, T. T., Berger, A.K., & Hertzog, C. (2009). Expectations about memory change are impacted by aging stereotypes. Psychology and Aging, 24, 169-176.

ABSTRACT: This study examined whether expectations about memory change with age vary for different personality types. Four adjectives from each of M. L. Hummert, T. A. Garstka, J. L. Shaner, and S. Strahm’s (1994) age-stereotype trait sets were selected to create 11 adjective clusters varying in both valence (positive vs. negative) and relevance to memory functioning. There were 373 participants in 3 age groups who rated the memory abilities of target adults, defined by the adjective clusters, across the adult life span. Consistent with past studies, participants believed in age-related memory decline. However, participants rated target adults with positive personality traits as having better memory ability and less age-related memory decline than target adults with negative personality traits. This effect was larger when the traits were relevant to memory than when they were not. Finally, older participants were more strongly influenced by both the valence and the relevance of the personality descriptions than younger participants.

External Link: doi: 10.1037/a0013577

 

Jopp, D., & Hertzog, C. (2007). Activities, self-referent memory beliefs , and cognitive performance: Evidence for direct and mediated relations. Psychology and Aging, 22(4), 811-825.

ABSTRACT: In this study, the authors investigated the role of activities and self-referent memory beliefs for cognitive performance in a life-span sample. A factor analysis identified 8 activity factors, including Developmental Activities, Experiential Activities, Social Activities, Physical Activities, Technology Use, Watching Television, Games, and Crafts. A second-order general activity factor was significantly related to a general factor of cognitive function as defined by ability tests. Structural regression models suggested that prediction of cognition by activity level was partially mediated by memory beliefs, controlling for age, education, health, and depressive affect. Models adding paths from general and specific activities to aspects of crystallized intelligence suggested additional unique predictive effects for some activities. In alternative models, nonsignificant effects of beliefs on activities were detected when cognition predicted both variables, consistent with the hypothesis that beliefs derive from monitoring cognition and have no influence on activity patterns.

External Link: doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.22.4.811

 

Hertzog, C. & Hultsch, D. F. (2000).  Metacognition in adulthood and old age (pp. 417-466).  In Salthouse, T. & Craik, F. I. M. (Eds.) Handbook of Aging and Cognition II. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

ABSTRACT: In this chapter we review our recent research examining relationships between implicit theories about memory and aging, personal beliefs about memory, memory task performance, and attributions about memory task performance. Individuals who believe in lower rates of decline in memory efficacy and control over the life span also tend to have higher ratings of memory self-efficacy and personal control over memory. Personal control beliefs are also related to the likelihood of using effective encoding strategies in a free recall task. Although there are age differences in personal beliefs about memory and in the likelihood of effective strategy use, the amount of age-related variance is relatively small and hence these variables do not account for much of the (substantial) age-related variance in free recall performance. Instead, beliefs and age represent relatively independent predictors of memory task performance. Given that many older adults do not use effective strategies, apparently in part because they do not necessarily believe in the possibility of controlling memory performance through strategy use, interventions designed to change beliefs about the controllability of memory might enhance the performance of some older adults.

External Link: PsychNET

 

Hertzog, C., Lineweaver, T. T., & McGuire, C. L. (1999).  Beliefs about memory and aging.  In F. Blanchard-Fields & T. M. Hess (Eds.), Social Cognition and Aging (pp. 43-68). NY: Academic Press.

ABSTRACT: In this chapter we review our recent research examining relationships between implicit theories about memory and aging, personal beliefs about memory, memory task performance, and attributions about memory task performance. Individuals who believe in lower rates of decline in memory efficacy and control over the life span also tend to have higher ratings of memory self-efficacy and personal control over memory. Personal control beliefs are also related to the likelihood of using effective encoding strategies in a free recall task. Although there are age differences in personal beliefs about memory and in the likelihood of effective strategy use, the amount of age-related variance is relatively small and hence these variables do not account for much of the (substantial) age-related variance in free recall performance. Instead, beliefs and age represent relatively independent predictors of memory task performance. Given that many older adults do not use effective strategies, apparently in part because they do not necessarily believe in the possibility of controlling memory performance through strategy use, interventions designed to change beliefs about the controllability of memory might enhance the performance of some older adults.

External Link: PsychNET

 

Lineweaver, T. T., & Hertzog, C. (1998).  Adults’ efficacy and control beliefs regarding memory and aging: Separating general from personal beliefs.  Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 5,264-296.

ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional sample of adults answered two questionnaires regarding beliefs about memory, took a free recall test, and then answered two open-ended questions obtaining causal attributions for memory task performance. Adults of all ages most frequently attributed memory performance to internal skills (typically, strategies for learning and remembering), although older adults were more likely than younger adults to make internal-ability attributions. Self-reported strategies were classified into three ranked categories: (a) optimal (some form of relational processing), (b) marginal (e.g., rote rehearsal), or (c) none (e.g., nonspecific effort). Use of optimal strategies was positively related to recall performance and perceived control over memory for persons of all ages. Age differences in use of strategies were small and did not account for age differences in memory performance.

External Link: doi: 10.1076/anec.5.4.264.771

 

Cavanaugh, J. C., Feldman, J., & Hertzog, C. (1998).  Memory beliefs as social cognition: A reconceptualization of what memory questionnaires assess.  Review of General Psychology, 2, 48-65.

ABSTRACT: Few attempts have been made to integrate research on memory beliefs across adulthood with related constructs in social cognition. This article addresses the issue of how respondents formulate answers to memory-beliefs questions from a social-cognitive perspective. We propose that reported memory beliefs represent the outcomes of a process that involves both the retrieval of previously stored information about self and about memory and on-line constructive processes. This article offers a set of assumptions that clarifies existing data on memory beliefs and generates new hypotheses regarding the interactions between beliefs about the aging process, memory, and constructs such as memory self-efficacy and how such variables combine with the on-line constructive processes to produce individual differences in responses.

External Link: PsychNET

 

McDonald-Miszczak, L., Hertzog, C., & Hultsch, D. F. (1995).  Stability and accuracy of metamemory in adulthood and aging.  Psychology and Aging, 10, 553-564.

ABSTRACT: The stability and accuracy of memory perceptions in 2 longitudinal samples was examined. Sample 1 consisted of 231 adults (22-78 years) tested twice of 2 years. Sample 2 consisted of 234 adults (55-86 years) tested 3 times over 6 years. Measures of perceived and actual memory change were obtained. A primary focus was whether perceptions of memory change stem from application of an implicit theory about aging and memory or from accurate monitoring of actual changes in performance. Individual differences in metamemory were highly stable over time. Results suggested at least some accurate monitoring of memory in Sample 2, in which actual change as greatest. However, the overall pattern of results is largely consistent with predictions derived from an implicit theory hypothesis.

External Link: PMID:8749582

 

Grover, D. R., & Hertzog, C. (1991).  Relationships between intellectual control beliefs and psychometric intelligence in adulthood.  Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 46,109-115.

This longitudinal study examined perceived control of intelligence and its relationship with intellectual performance. A large sample (ages 43-84) was administered the short form of Lachman’s PIC and psychometric tests of eight intellectual abilities in both 1985 and 1987. There were significant cross-sectional age differences in the three scales: Internal (INT), Powerful Others (POW), and Chance (CHA). The three scales correlated with all intellectual abilities, with relationships being largest for POW. The PIC scales showed lower test-retest correlations than the intelligence tests. Individual differences in change in POW and CHA were also correlated with prior levels of psychometric intelligence, and path analyses suggested a small but significant prediction of change in POW by prior levels of intelligence.

External Link: PMID:2030275