Investigating how prior task success improves memory performance in older adults Given the many negative societal and cultural beliefs about memory and aging, many older adults worry that they are losing their memory. Holding negative beliefs about memory has been shown to lead older adults to perform poorly on standard memory tests. We have found that having older adults successfully complete a prior cognitive task improves their performance on a later unrelated memory test, relative to having no task success or to failing at a task. The overarching aim of this project is to extend these promising results to additional memory testing conditions and to determine the mechanism by which prior task success improves older adults'memory performance. In particular, we will test the hypothesis that task success improves memory performance by increasing self-efficacy and decreasing test anxiety. From a practical point of view, prior task success could provide a new methodological template for improving older adults'memory performance in and out of the lab. Results from this line of work would also demonstrate that age-associated memory changes are influenced not only by cognitive and neurological mechanisms, but also by potentially controllable contextual factors.

Public Health Relevance

Investigating how prior task success improves memory performance in older adults This project is designed to improve older adults'memory performance by providing them with prior success completing tasks. Results from this line of work would demonstrate that age-associated memory changes are influenced not only by cognitive and neurological mechanisms, but also by potentially controllable contextual factors.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG039502-03
Application #
8513217
Study Section
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
Program Officer
King, Jonathan W
Project Start
2011-09-30
Project End
2014-08-31
Budget Start
2013-09-01
Budget End
2014-08-31
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$111,630
Indirect Cost
$34,140
Name
Texas A&M University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
078592789
City
College Station
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
77845
Geraci, Lisa; McDaniel, Mark A; Miller, Tyler M et al. (2013) The bizarreness effect: evidence for the critical influence of retrieval processes. Mem Cognit 41:1228-37