The age-prospective memory paradox in a real-life context and how it is influenced by physical activity

ContributorsGeppert, Nora
Master program titleMaîtrise universitaire en psychologie
Defense date2019

Background: The age and prospective memory (PM) paradox describes an age deficit within laboratory PM tasks, and an age benefit for tasks set in a familiar naturalistic environment. This study aims to compare PM performances for young and older adults within different settings, enforcing new real-life settings, where naturally formed prospective memory intentions are explored. A potential moderating factor, physical activity, was investigated. Method: Forty young and 54 older adults performed a time-based and an event-based computerised PM task in the laboratory. Over 9 days, they performed a time-based and event-based naturalistic as well as a diary task in their everyday lives. An electronically activated recording design provided observation of naturally occurring PM failures. Additionally, participants wore a fitness tracking bracelet measuring their steps and completed a physical activity questionnaire. Results: Within the laboratory, young adults outperformed older adults significantly in the time-based, but not in the event-based task. The naturalistic and diary PM setting revealed a significant age benefit. Physical activity only showed one significant interaction regarding the event-based laboratory PM task: self-reported active older adults significantly outperformed active young adults. Conclusion: The age-PM paradox was confirmed for the naturalistic as well as the diary task within one sample. The electronically activated recordings provided us with exploratory data and proved a promising design for the future. The study takes an important step towards increasing ecological validity in PM research.

Citation (ISO format)
GEPPERT, Nora. The age-prospective memory paradox in a real-life context and how it is influenced by physical activity. 2019.
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Master thesis
  • PID : unige:123383

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Creation09/18/2019 11:11:00 AM
First validation09/18/2019 11:11:00 AM
Update time03/15/2023 6:02:11 PM
Status update03/15/2023 6:02:11 PM
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