Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The Selective Optimization with Compensation (SOC) model for lifespan development (Baltes & Baltes, 1990) holds that as we age, our goals change from growth to maintenance. When people face difficulties, they work to minimize losses in order to maintain skills they already have physically, mentally, and socially. Thus, we compensate when possible in order to maintain the life we have established. In the case of memory people assume that there is little they can do when memory starts to fail and forgetfulness becomes more prominent. In the present research, we examine memory self-appraisals to provide new evidence on memory self-efficacy in later life. Additionally, we address memory aging knowledge and memory controllability as individual difference variables that contribute to subjective beliefs about one’s own memory. An intervention to improve beliefs held about memory was also carried out to examine differences in memory self-efficacy in the post-intervention stages through the use of the Memory Functioning Questionnaire, Memory Control Inventory, and the Knowledge of Memory and Aging Questionnaire. We found that memory self-efficacy levels in the oldest-old were the same as their younger counterparts, implying that subjective memory appraisals remain relatively stable in later life. Contrary to our expectations, high levels of memory knowledge and controllability were not significant predictors for memory self-efficacy. An intervention carried out with the oldest-old yielded no differences in meta-memory appraisals, and findings show their memory self-efficacy beliefs and control beliefs were already at high levels.



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Committee Chair

Cherry, Katie E.



Included in

Psychology Commons