Title

Compared to What? The Effects of a Frame of Reference on Older Adults’ Subjective Memory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition

First Page

327

Last Page

337

DOI

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13825585.2015.1099606

Abstract

It is often unclear what comparisons older adults make when evaluating their own memory. If thinking about their memory relative to others, they may assess their own abilities differently than if comparing it to their past capabilities. To test the effect of reference frames on memory assessments and memory performance, we randomly assigned 120 older adults to one of three conditions in which we manipulated frames of reference (control, past-self comparison, or other adults comparison) on a memory self-efficacy questionnaire. Participants also completed general and specific memory predictions and an objective memory test. Participants in the past-self condition reported significantly lower global memory self-efficacy compared with the other adults and control conditions. No condition differences emerged for memory predictions, objective memory, or the likelihood of over- or underpredicting memory performance. These findings suggest that reference frames impact global memory self-efficacy, but do not influence the accuracy of subjective memory judgments.

Rights

Version of record can be found through Taylor and Francis.