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Psychology and Aging

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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 eighty 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 agerelated memory decline.


Copyright © 2012 American Psychological Association.

This is a post-print version of an article originally published in Psychology and Aging, 2012, Volume 27, Issue 2.

The version of record is available through: American Psychology Association.

"This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record."