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Date of Award

9-2009

Document Type

Campus Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Susan Krauss Whitbourne

Second Advisor

Tamara A. Rahhal

Third Advisor

Rebecca E. Ready

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology | Cognitive Psychology | Social Psychology

Abstract

Memory is a salient area of functioning in adulthood known to be influenced by beliefs about performance. Past socio-cognitive research has shown considerable support for the effect of positive feedback and/or self-efficacy on memory performance. The present study used hierarchical linear regressions and path analysis to examine whether self-efficacy would mediate the relationship between identity processes (i.e., individual differences in self-concept) and memory performance. The present study also investigated whether the proposed mediated relationship between identity processes, self-efficacy, and memory performance was moderated by feedback condition. 98 community-dwelling adults (M=70.05, 60-90) were randomly assigned to the three feedback conditions: Positive Feedback (N=33), No Feedback (N=32), Neutral Feedback (N=33). Contrary to expectation, identity processes were not related to memory performance. Path analyses results showed that positive feedback strengthened the relationship between self-efficacy and memory performance when compared to the neutral and no feedback group. The findings support the utility of using positive feedback as a means to enhance the positive effect of self-efficacy on memory performance with older adults.

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