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Title: The effects of repeated checking on memory and metamemory in older people and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)
Author: Lattimer, Miles
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 054X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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Changes in memory and concerns regarding memory performance are common in older people, with many fearing developing dementia. Older people both with and without objective memory impairment may engage in compensatory strategies to reduce feelings of uncertainty, including checking or a reliance on memory aids. However, a number of studies have demonstrated that checking may paradoxically lead to reductions in metamemory (memory confidence, vividness and detail) as well as potential reductions in memory accuracy. The present study aimed to build upon previous research by adapting a stove paradigm developed by Radomsky, Gilchrist & Dussault (2006) to investigate the effects of repeated ‘relevant’ and ‘irrelevant’ checking on memory accuracy and metamemory in 20 community dwelling older people without memory problems, as well as a smaller sample of 14 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study employed 2 x 2 mixed factorial experimental designs for both samples. The independent variable was checking type (relevant checking and irrelevant checking). Participants were randomly assigned to either a ‘relevant checking’ or an ‘irrelevant checking’ condition. Participants in the ‘relevant checking’ condition completed 15 ‘checks’ of a non-functional replica stove while those in the ‘irrelevant checking’ condition completed 15 ‘checks’ of a dosette box, before completing a final checking trial of the stove. The dependent variables were measures of memory accuracy and metamemory (confidence, vividness and detail) assessed at two time points (pre-checking and post-checking). Consistent with earlier findings, repeated relevant checking led to significant decline in memory confidence, vividness and detail compared to the irrelevant checking condition for the older adult sample. The MCI sample showed significant decline in memory confidence following repeated checking although declines in vividness and detail did not reach significance. No change was observed in memory accuracy in either sample. The clinical and theoretical implications of this finding are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available