Metacognitive monitoring and strategic behavior in working memory performance: An examination of adult age differences

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: Research indicates that cognitive age differences can be influenced by metacognitive factors. This research has generally focused on simple memory tasks. Age differences in working memory (WM) performance are pronounced, but are typically attributed to basic cognitive deficits rather than metacognitive factors. However, WM performance can be influenced by strategic behaviour that might be driven by metacognitive monitoring. In the current project, we attempted to connect these lines of research by examining age differences in metacognitive WM monitoring and strategies. In Experiment 1, younger and older adult participants completed a computerized operation span task in conditions that either required or did not require monitoring reports. Participants in the monitoring condition predicted and postdicted global performance for each block and rated their responses following each trial within a block. In Experiment 2, participants also reported their trial-level strategic approach. In contrast to the age equivalence typically found for simple memory monitoring, results demonstrated age differences in WM monitoring accuracy. Overall age differences in strategy use were not found, but using effective strategies benefited older adults' performance more than younger adults'. Furthermore, age-related differences in the WM task appear to be mediated by the accuracy of performance monitoring.

Additional Information

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Language: English
Date: 2009
Working memory, Metacognition, Monitoring, Strategies, Aging

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