Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIXTEEN Relations Among Basic Processes, Beliefs, and Performance: A Lifespan Perspective

John C. Cavanaugh
University of Delaware

David Baskind
Delta University

Trying to understand how memory works is an ancient and noble enterprise. Since the time of the ancient Greek philosophers (and probably earlier), theorists and researchers alike have sought to unlock the secrets of why people seem to be good at remembering some things and not others, and why some people seem to be better at remembering in general than others. To be sure, important advances have been made over the past 2,500 years; indeed, we suspect that Aristotle himself would be impressed at the recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive science. The researchers whose new findings are described in this chapter may not impress Aristotle as much, but they do provide significant insights into some heretofore vexing problems in applied memory research. This chapter describes work presented during a session on Memory Across the Life Span at the Third Practical Aspects of Memory Conference.

Despite our many advances over the millennia, many fundamental questions about memory in applied contexts remain. One of the most important modern questions concerns how people's self-assessments relate to their performance, and how such belief systems fit into the overall memory system. Although the research presented in this session may not produce the memory theory or research equivalent of the Holy Grail, it does incorporate observations and insights that make important advances toward understanding memory development and functioning in applied contexts across the lifespan.

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