School of Psychology Professor Christopher Hertzog and Senior Research Scientist Ann Pearman Awarded R21 National Institute of Aging Grant

This project seeks to develop and validate a novel approach to training everyday memory functioning in older adults. The approach (1) trains people to use simple but effective memory skills that have broad applicability in everyday life and (2) shapes a set of skills and habits of mind that will increase the likelihood of effective use of skills and memory aids. It is based on a metacognitive perspective on self-regulation in cognitively demanding situations and informed by recent theories about how suboptimal habit patterns can be altered. The approach has not yet been used in an everyday memory intervention in high-functioning, community-dwelling older adults. The proposed research validates ecological momentary assessment methods to get actual behavioral measures of forgetting in everyday life. It then uses these procedures in a randomized experiment that contrasts the everyday memory intervention group with a traditional memory-strategy training group. The hypothesis is that the everyday memory training intervention will reduce everyday memory errors and memory complaints, whereas the memory strategy training will alter strategy use and memory performance, with little cross-over effect. The hypothesized pattern will establish the explicit benefits of our everyday memory intervention procedures and demonstrate the limitation of standard memory training for that purpose.