Quality of Life Research

, Volume 25, Issue 8, pp 1943–1948 | Cite as

The relevance of memory sensitivity for psychological well-being in aging

  • Enrico Toffalini
  • Erika Borella
  • Cesare Cornoldi
  • Rossana De Beni



In the present study, we investigated the relationship between memory sensitivity, which describes a positive attitude to autobiographical memory and the presence of behaviors devoted to saving memories of the personal past, and psychological well-being; in particular, we tested whether their relationship would change across age groups.


Three hundred eighteen participants, divided in four groups: young to middle-aged adults (20–55 years old), young–old adults (65–74 years old), old adults (75–84 years old), and old–old adults (85–97 years old), completed questionnaires on their memory sensitivity and psychological well-being.


Memory sensitivity slightly decreased with age and had a positive relationship with psychological well-being that was critically moderated by age. Specifically, the relationship between memory sensitivity and psychological well-being became increasingly stronger as age increased.


While memory sensitivity may have little or no particular relevance in the case of young to middle-aged adults, it has an increasingly important positive relationship with psychological well-being at later age. It is thus suggested that memory sensitivity represents a dimension that should be considered in the study and interventions on quality of life in the elderly population.


Psychological well-being Aging Memory sensitivity Autobiographical memory 



This study was conducted as part of our routine laboratory activities and received no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. The present study involved only human participants and was conducted in full compliance with the local academic ethical requirements. All participants took part voluntarily in the research and signed an informed consent form before participating.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Toffalini
    • 1
  • Erika Borella
    • 1
  • Cesare Cornoldi
    • 1
  • Rossana De Beni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General PsychologyUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly

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