Memory Avoidance by Older Adults: When “Old Dogs” Won’t Perform Their “New Tricks”

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dayna R. Touron, Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Learning often involves a transition from responding based on an effortful initial strategy to using a faster and easier memory-based strategy. Older adults shift strategy more slowly compared with younger adults. I describe research establishing that age differences in strategy shift are impacted not only by declines in older adults’ learning but also by their volitional avoidance of memory retrieval. I also discuss the factors that influence older adults’ memory avoidance, including their understanding of the available strategies’ relative efficiency, accuracy, and effortfulness, as well as age differences in the preference for a consistent strategic approach. Last, I consider the implications of memory avoidance for older adults’ everyday functioning. This research demonstrates that volition and choice must be taken into account when studying cognitive performance and aging.

Additional Information

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(3), 170-176. [2015]
Language: English
Date: 2015
cognitive aging, strategies, metacognition, learning

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