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Is subjective memory change in old age based on accurate monitoring of age-related memory change? Evidence from two longitudinal studies


Hertzog, Christopher; Hülür, Gizem; Gerstorf, Denis; Pearman, Ann M (2018). Is subjective memory change in old age based on accurate monitoring of age-related memory change? Evidence from two longitudinal studies. Psychology and Aging, 33(2):273-287.

Abstract

Subjective memory change (SMC) in adulthood involves the perception that one's memory has declined from earlier levels of function. SMC has been conjectured to be more accurate than concurrent subjective memory because people use themselves as a standard of comparison. We used data from two longitudinal studies to contrast the accurate-monitoring-of-change hypothesis-actual memory change predicts SMC-against a constructed-judgment hypothesis that rated SMC is a function of rescaling concurrent memory beliefs without accessing actual memory change. It states that actual memory change has no predictive validity for SMC independent of concurrent memory beliefs. Data from both the Berlin Aging Study and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) showed that older adults' current memory complaints strongly predicted current SMC, and that there was little relationship of longitudinally measured memory change to SMC, controlling on memory complaints. In the HRS there were reliable latent-growth-curve slope correlations of over .20 for change in episodic memory with both slopes of change in SMC and in memory complaints, yet little relationship of SMC slopes to episodic memory slopes, controlling on memory-complaint slopes. The results falsify the accurate-monitoring-of-change hypothesis regarding the origins of SMC in older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record

Abstract

Subjective memory change (SMC) in adulthood involves the perception that one's memory has declined from earlier levels of function. SMC has been conjectured to be more accurate than concurrent subjective memory because people use themselves as a standard of comparison. We used data from two longitudinal studies to contrast the accurate-monitoring-of-change hypothesis-actual memory change predicts SMC-against a constructed-judgment hypothesis that rated SMC is a function of rescaling concurrent memory beliefs without accessing actual memory change. It states that actual memory change has no predictive validity for SMC independent of concurrent memory beliefs. Data from both the Berlin Aging Study and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) showed that older adults' current memory complaints strongly predicted current SMC, and that there was little relationship of longitudinally measured memory change to SMC, controlling on memory complaints. In the HRS there were reliable latent-growth-curve slope correlations of over .20 for change in episodic memory with both slopes of change in SMC and in memory complaints, yet little relationship of SMC slopes to episodic memory slopes, controlling on memory-complaint slopes. The results falsify the accurate-monitoring-of-change hypothesis regarding the origins of SMC in older adults. (PsycINFO Database Record

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:March 2018
Deposited On:05 Nov 2018 15:16
Last Modified:05 Nov 2018 15:17
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0882-7974
Additional Information:This article reports data from the Berlin Aging Study (BASE; www.base-berlin.mpg.de).
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/pag0000232
PubMed ID:29658747
Project Information:
  • : FunderMax Planck Society
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  • : FunderFree University of Berlin
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  • : FunderGerman Federal Ministry for Research and Technology
  • : Grant ID1989-1991, 13 TA 011_13 TA 011/A
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  • : FunderGerman Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth
  • : Grant ID1992–1998, 314-1722-102/9_314-1722-102/9a
  • : Project Title
  • : FunderBerlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences’ Research Group on Aging and Societal Development
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