Poster A15, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
The Effects of Age and Emotion on Cognitive Control of Memory and Metacognitive Monitoring
Sara Gallant1, Lixia Yang2; 1University of Southern California, 2Ryerson University
Previous research has identified an age-related positivity effect in memory in which older adults show a motivational shift to remember positive over negative information; however, whether they can strategically control such information once it enters memory is not well understood. The present research thus sought to examine age-related changes in cognitive control of emotional memory and its underlying metacognitive components. Three studies were conducted to assess cognitive control of positive, negative, and neutral words, using a cue-based (Study 1 and 2) or value-based (Study 3) item-directed forgetting task in young and older adults. Metacognitive monitoring was indexed by prospective judgments of learning (JOLs) at encoding (Study 2) and retrospective source attributions during recognition (Studies 1-3). Results consistently demonstrated that young and older adults could strategically control encoding of emotional information by prioritizing relevant over irrelevant words in memory. This was evident when encoding was directed by to-be-remembered (TBR) or to-be-forgotten (TBF) cues as well as by points that signaled a gain or loss of value (+10 vs. -10). Extending previous research on metacognition and aging, results indicated age-invariance in prospective JOLs made during the encoding of TBR and TBF words that varied in emotion. In contrast, age groups differed when retrospectively monitoring the source of words. Whereas young adults’ source monitoring was not influenced by emotion or cues, older adults attributed positive items to sources that were higher in value for memory (TBR or +10 cues), consistent with an age-related bias to prioritize positivity.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions