Where ARE My Keys? Age Diffs in Memory Strategies

Madelynne Wright Butler University, Thomas Hermsen Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Tara Lineweaver Butler University
Young and older adults report using different strategies to control age-related memory decline. Older adults typically cite more general health and “use-it-or-lose-it” approaches, whereas young adults more commonly report applying specific strategies tailored to the task (Hertzog, et al., 2010). We examined the likelihood that young and older adults apply different memory strategies towards completing various memory tasks in their everyday lives.

One hundred and eleven young adults (YA: aged 18-22, M=19.73, SD=1.18) and 106 older adults (OA: aged 65-89, M=72.22, SD=5.13) rated their likelihood of using twelve different strategies (six strategy types: Cognitive Health, Physical Health, maintaining a Positive Attitude, External Aids, Effort, and Internal Strategies) when attempting to complete six different memory tasks (three memory types: episodic, semantic and prospective memory).

Our results indicate that adults’ strategy selection depends on the type of memory task at hand. Although older adults report using Cognitive Health and Physical Health strategies more than young adults regardless of memory type, age-group differences in utilization of other strategic approaches (i.e., Positive Attitude, External Aids and Effort) differed across episodic, semantic and prospective memory. These findings suggest that older adults vary their approach based on the particular task they face but in ways that differ from their younger peers.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

11:00 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 103