NATURALISTIC ASSESSMENT OF EVERYDAY MEMORY PERFORMANCE AMONG OLDER ADULTS

Matthias Kempe*, Michael Kalicinski, Daniel Memmert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background/Study Context: Memory performance in everyday life (EDL) and its change through aging is still unclear because laboratory results are often not transferable to real-life situations. Therefore, a naturalistic memory task was designed to investigate memory performance in older adults in a representative task design.Methods: The memory performance of 23 older (70.28 4.65 years) and 20 younger adults (24.89 3.16 years) was assessed by using four established tasks of short-term and working memory (Digit Simple Span, Digit Complex Span, Grid Simple Span, and Grid Complex Span) that differed in difficulty and domain (verbal vs. visual-spatial). To simulate an EDL context, a Supermarket was constructed within the laboratory.Results: The results showed that memory performance presents alterations in older adults. This was especially true for the Supermarket task, in which the younger adults showed benefits in the common environment as opposed to older adults. A factor analysis showed that the four memory laboratory tasks measured different memory processes as compared with the EDL task.Conclusion: These findings suggest that memory performance in EDL is a different construct than when it is measured in the laboratory and that memory alterations in older adults are especially pronounced in EDL tasks. Following these findings, the authors recommend an EDL approach to measure memory performance further to the well-established laboratory approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-445
Number of pages20
JournalExperimental aging research
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8-Aug-2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • TERM WORKING-MEMORY
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • AGE-DIFFERENCES
  • DOMAIN KNOWLEDGE
  • VERBAL MEMORY
  • VIRTUAL WEEK
  • LIFE-SPAN
  • CAPACITY
  • NUMBER
  • ROLES

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