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Metamemory - Conclusion

age aging clinical memory aging self adulthood

Metamemory refers to processes also known as cognition about memory, memory complaints, memory control, memory self-efficacy, memory knowledge, memory affect, memory monitoring, and memory insight or awareness. A theoretically coherent concept of metamemory includes several interrelated components: declarative knowledge of memory functioning, awareness of or insight into memory skills or problems, monitoring of current memory processes, beliefs about memory skills and change, and memory-related affect. Research on aging has provided numerous fascinating portrayals of metamemory—its range, development, and influences. The simultaneous measurement of multiple dimensions of metamemory is useful, especially when considering issues pertinent to normal aging (e.g., how memory normally changes— grows and declines—across the life span) and to clinical aging (e.g., how memory disorders are developed, supported, and remedied). Important issues of current and future research include (a) the extent to which dimensions of metamemory interact in determining memory performance, impairment, or decline; (b) the extent to which dimensions of metamemory may serve as early indicators of progressive memory decline, such as that associated with organic diseases; and (c) the extent to which intervention in dimensions of metamemory may have indirect influence on memory performance, maintenance, improvement, or recovery.

ROGER A. DIXON

See also MEMORY.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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DIXON, R. A. "Questionnaire Research on Metamemory and Aging: Issues of Structure and Function." In Everyday Cognition in Adulthood and Old Age. Edited by L. W. Poon, D. C. Rubin, and B. A. Wilson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pages 394–415.

DIXON, R. A.; DE FRIAS, C. M.; and BÄCKMAN, L. "Characteristics of Self-Reported Memory Compensation in Late Life." Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology. 23 (2001): 650–661.

GILEWSKI, M. J., and ZELINSKI, E. M. "Questionnaire Assessment of Memory Complaints." In Handbook for Clinical Memory Assessment of Older Adults. Edited by L. W. Poon. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 1986. Pages 93–107.

HERTZOG, C., and HULTSCH, D. F. "Metacognition in Adulthood and Old Age." In The Handbook of Aging and Cognition, 2d ed. Edited by F. I. M. Craik and T. A. Salthouse. Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum, 2000. Pages 417–466.

KUHN, D. "Metacognitive Development." Current Directions in Psychological Science 9 (2000): 178–181.

LOVELACE, E. A., ed. Aging and Cognition: Mental Processes, Self Awareness, and Interventions. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1990

METCALFE, J., and SHIMAMURA, A. P., eds. Metacogniton Knowing About Knowing. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.

PRIGATANO, G. P., and SCHACTER, D. L., eds. Awareness of Deficit After Brain Injury: Clinical and Theoretical Issues. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

An elderly Palestinian in a traditional Arab head dress reads from the Quran at a mosque in the West Bank town of Ramallah, which was the sight of intense fighting between Israelis and Palestinians during the fourteen months preceding this November 2001 photo. (AP photo by Nasser Nasser.)

RYAN, E. B. "Beliefs About Memory Changes Across Adulthood." Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences 47 (1992): P41–P46.

WILSON, B. A., and WATSON, P. C. "A Practical Framework for Understanding Compensatory Behaviour in People with Organic Memory Impairment." Memory 4: (1996): 456–486.

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