You can go your own way: effectiveness of participant-driven versus experimenter-driven processing strategies in memory training and transfer

Flegal, K. E. and Lustig, C. (2016) You can go your own way: effectiveness of participant-driven versus experimenter-driven processing strategies in memory training and transfer. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 23(4), pp. 389-417. (doi:10.1080/13825585.2015.1108386)

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Abstract

Cognitive training programs that instruct specific strategies frequently show limited transfer. Open-ended approaches can achieve greater transfer, but may fail to benefit many older adults due to age deficits in self-initiated processing. We examined whether a compromise that encourages effort at encoding without an experimenter-prescribed strategy might yield better results. Older adults completed memory training under conditions that either (1) mandated a specific strategy to increase deep, associative encoding, (2) attempted to suppress such encoding by mandating rote rehearsal, or (3) encouraged time and effort toward encoding but allowed for strategy choice. The experimenter-enforced associative encoding strategy succeeded in creating integrated representations of studied items, but training-task progress was related to pre-existing ability. Independent of condition assignment, self-reported deep encoding was associated with positive training and transfer effects, suggesting that the most beneficial outcomes occur when environmental support guiding effort is provided but participants generate their own strategies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was funded by the National Institute on Aging awarded to Cindy Lustig [grant number R03 AG029329] and to the University of Michigan Older Americans Independence Center [grant number P30 AG024824].
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flegal, Dr Kristin
Authors: Flegal, K. E., and Lustig, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Publisher:Taylor and Francis (Routledge)
ISSN:1382-5585
ISSN (Online):1744-4128
Published Online:07 November 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition 23(4):389-417
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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