Old and very old adults as witnesses: event memory and metamemory
Dahl, Mats (författare)
Lund University,Lunds universitet,Institutionen för psykologi,Samhällsvetenskapliga institutioner och centrumbildningar,Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten,Department of Psychology,Departments of Administrative, Economic and Social Sciences,Faculty of Social Sciences,Lund Univ
Allwood, Carl Martin (författare)
Gothenburg University,Göteborgs universitet,Psykologiska institutionen,Department of Psychology,Univ Gothenburg
Older people constitute an important category of eyewitnesses. Episodic memory performance in older persons is poorer than in younger adults, but little research has been made on older persons' metacognitive judgments. Since more persons of advanced age will likely be called upon as witnesses in coming years, it is critical to characterize this population's metacognitive abilities. We compared event memory metacognition in old adults (66-year-old, n = 74) to very old adults (87 or 90 years old, n = 55). Participants were tested on their memory of a film, using questions with two answer alternatives and the confidence in their answer. As expected, the very old group had a lower accuracy rate than the old group (d = 0.59). The very old group, however, monitored this impairment, since their over-/underconfidence and calibration did not differ from the old group but they displayed a poorer ability to separate correct from incorrect answers (discrimination ability). Possibly, the very old group was able to monitor the level of their over-/underconfidence because they applied general self-knowledge about their memory skills. In contrast, the discrimination of correct from incorrect answers may be more dependent on ability to attend to the features of each retrieved memory.