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

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

TABLE 17.5 Mean Scores and Student's t Before and After Mnemonic Training
ItemBefore
Training
After
Training
t (df = 64)p
Language
(Item 4) 3.26 (1.16) 3.61 (1.07) 2.64 .005
Language
(Item 5) 3.37 (0.99) 3.57 (0.88) 2.03 .023
Language
(Item 6) 3.61 (1.04) 3.92 (0.78) 2.81 004
Language
(Item 8) 3.40 (1.04) 3.68 (0.85) 2.01 .025
Reading and writing
(Item 14) 3.45 (0.90) 3.51 (1.02) 0.43 .333
Reading and writing
(Item 15) 3.29 (1.07) 3.57 (1.09) 2.12 .019
Faces and places
(Item 18) 3.05 (1.02) 3.41 (0.92) 2.91 .002
Actions
(Item 27) 3.66 (0.99) 3.83 (0.86) 1.26 .106
Learning new things
(Item 30) 3.05 (1.04) 3.21 (1.01) 1.21 .115
Learning new things
(Item 31) 3.55 (1.20) 3.41 (1.06) 0.94 .175
Note: Standard deviation in parentheses. High scores correspond to less difficult problems.

typical performance attributed to different ages, the data replicated the results of Experiment 1, showing significant effects due to performance, as expected for different ages, training, and the interaction between the two factors. For example, in this case, too, after the training the subjects reduced their overestimation of expected performance at various ages for all ages but their own.


CONCLUSIONS

As some other research works have also shown, old people may have inadequate knowledge of memory. Several reasons may concur to produce underestimation of one's own memory as well as estimation of memory at other ages: personal experience, generalization of observations of own or other people's memory problems, and few life events involving memory and attention. These factors may also contribute to a drop in the level of general knowledge or to a tendency to reflect on memory functioning, and cast doubts on the usefulness of self-rating questionnaires. Some authors are skeptical about the reliability and validity of memory questionnaires (see Herrmann, 1984). Their skepticism seems well motivated and can be ex-

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