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Clock monitoring is associated with age-related decline in time-based prospective memory

Published inCurrent Psychology
Publication date2022-03-28
First online date2022-03-28
Abstract

In laboratory time-based prospective memory tasks, older adults typically perform worse than younger adults do. It has been suggested that less frequent clock checking due to problems with executive functions may be responsible. We aimed to investigate the role of clock checking in older adults’ time-based prospective memory and to clarify whether executive functions would be associated with clock checking and consequently, with time-based prospective memory. We included 62 healthy older adults (62-85 years of age) and applied tasks of time-based prospective memory as well as of executive functions (i.e., inhibition, fluency, and working memory). We used mediation analysis to test whether time-based prospective memory declined with advancing age due to less frequent clock checking. In addition, we tested whether there would be an association between executive functions and clock checking or time-based prospective memory. Time-based prospective memory declined with advancing age due to less frequent clock checking within 30s prior to intention completion. We only found a link between executive functions and clock checking (or time-based prospective memory) when not controlling for age. Our results support the importance of clock checking for time-based prospective memory and add to the current literature that older adults’ prospective memory declines because they are less able to adapt their clock checking. Yet, the reason why older adults are less able to adapt their clock checking still remains open. Our results do not indicate that executive function deficits play a central role.

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Citation (ISO format)
SCHMIDT, Nadine et al. Clock monitoring is associated with age-related decline in time-based prospective memory. In: Current Psychology, 2022. doi: 10.1007/s12144-022-03005-1
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ISSN of the journal1046-1310
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Creation03/29/2022 7:01:00 AM
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