Title

Improving Older Adults’ Memory Performance Using Prior Task Success

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2013

Abstract

Holding negative aging stereotypes can lead older adults to perform poorly on memory tests. We attempted to improve older adults’ memory performance by giving them task experience that would counter their negative performance expectations. Before participating in a memory experiment, younger and older adults were given a cognitive task that they could either successfully complete, not successfully complete, or they were given no prior task. For older adults, recall was significantly higher and self-reported anxiety was significantly lower for the prior task success group relative to the other groups. There was no effect of prior task experience on younger adults’ memory performance. Results suggest that older adults’ memory can be improved with a single successful prior task experience.

Publication Title

Psychology and Aging

Volume

28

Issue

2

First Page

340

Last Page

345

DOI of Published Version

10.1037/a0030332

Publisher

American Psychological Association