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Examining the relationship between subjective and objective memory performance in older adults: a meta-analysis.

Authors
  • Crumley, Jessica J
  • Stetler, Cinnamon A
  • Horhota, Michelle
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychology and Aging
Publisher
American Psychological Association
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2014
Volume
29
Issue
2
Pages
250–263
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/a0035908
PMID: 24955993
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Are the beliefs that older adults hold about their memory abilities associated with their scores on lab-based memory tasks? A review of the aging literature suggests that the correlation between subjective and objective memory is inconsistent, with some studies reporting significant effects and others reporting null results. A meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively summarize the relationship between subjective memory, defined as general predictions about memory, and objective memory performance in older adults, and to examine the conditions under which this relationship may be strongest. This meta-analysis included 53 studies, each of which included a normatively aging older adult sample. Overall, the association between subjective and objective memory was small (r = .062, SE = 0.014) but reliably greater than zero. Moderator analyses were conducted to better understand the parameters of this effect. Age, years of education, gender, depression symptoms, length and format of subjective memory measures, and type of objective memory were significantly correlated with effect size. These results caution against relying on general subjective memory belief measures as a substitute for objective assessments of memory.

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