Is all metamemory monitoring spared from aging? A dual-process examination.

Although recollection-based memory declines with age, relative metamemory monitoring is reported to be spared from aging. Based on a dual-process perspective on memory, we tested whether it is specifically the monitoring of automatic influences of memory (familiarity), but not of recollection, that is spared. In Experiment 1, we used the process-dissociation procedure (PDP) task from Undorf, Böhm, and Cüpper (2016) requiring modality-based exclusions and found older (61–83 years) adults’ judgments of learning (JOLs) to predict both recollection and familiarity estimates. Comparisons to Undorf et al.’s younger-adult (18–34 years) data revealed fully spared familiarity monitoring but provided some evidence for impaired recollection monitoring, especially after study-test experience. We replicated aging-spared familiarity monitoring but impaired recollection monitoring in a second experiment, comparing the predictive value of younger (18–30 years) and older (60–87 years) adults’ JOLs on a different PDP task that required recollection of the words’ spatial positions. Furthermore, Experiment 2 found no evidence that mediator-based strategy use improved recollection monitoring in either age group, albeit significantly improving recollection. Taken together, the results suggest that not all metamemory monitoring is spared from aging. Instead, metamemory monitoring mirrored older adults’ specific deficit in recollection whereas familiarity monitoring was fully spared. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)