Memory, monitoring, and control in the attainment of memory accuracy

Colleen M. Kelley, Lili Sahakyan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Three experiments assessed people's ability to strategically regulate memory accuracy in free report. Older adults were substantially less accurate than young adults in free report cued recall. Both older and younger adults made gains in memory accuracy from forced report to free report, but older adults did so at the expense of greater losses in quantity correct. This pattern of gains in accuracy at the cost of losses in quantity was mediated by the level of memory monitoring, and older adults showed less correspondence between their confidence judgments and the accuracy of their responses. When young adults encoded items with full vs. divided attention, the resulting differences in retention set off a cascade of effects including poorer memory monitoring and, ultimately, lower accuracy in free report. We suggest that older adults' problems with memory monitoring and memory accuracy stem from impairments in their ability to recollect details of events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-721
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Memory and Language
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Incentives
  • Memory accurary
  • Memory monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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