Advertisement

Memory Enhancement Strategies: What Works Best for Obtaining Memory Goals?

  • John Dunlosky
  • Heather Bailey
  • Christopher Hertzog
Chapter

Abstract

Adults of all ages experience difficulties remembering important information at times, and these difficulties occur more often as we grow older. Fortunately, a variety of easy-to-use strategies can be used to help people improve their learning and retention of a wide array of to-be-learned materials. In this chapter, we describe (a) many of these strategies, (b) why they work, and (c) how to apply basic principles of memory to adapt strategies to effectively learn and remember in novel contexts. Given that these strategies are often best suited for a single task or context, we also briefly discuss techniques that show promise for helping adults’ memory (and cognition) function effectively across many contexts.

Keywords

Prospective Memory Implementation Intention Text Material External Reminder Prospective Memory Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, one of the National Institutes of Health (R37 AG13148).

References

  1. Bahrick, H. P., Bahrick, L. E., Bahrick, A. S., & Bahrick, P. E. (1993). Maintenance of foreign language vocabulary and the spacing effect. Psychological Science, 4, 316–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bahrick, H. P., & Hall, L. K. (2005). The importance of retrieval failures to long-term retention: A metacognitive explanation of the spacing effect. Journal of Memory and Language, 52, 566–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey, H., Dunlosky, J., & Hertzog, C. (2010). Metacognitive training at home: Does it improve older adults’ learning? Gerontology., 56, 414–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ball, K., Berch, D. B., Helmers, K. F., Jobe, J. B., Leveck, M. D., Marsiske, M., et al. (2002). Effects of cognitive training interventions with older adults: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 288, 2271–2281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Balota, D. A., Duchek, J. M., Sergent-Marshall, S. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2006). Does expanded retrieval produce benefits over equal-interval spacing? Explorations of spacing effects in healthy aging and early stage Alzheimer’s disease. Psychology and Aging, 21, 19–31.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baltes, P. B., & Kliegl, R. (1992). Further testing of limits of cognitive plasticity: Negative age differences in a mnemonic skill are robust. Developmental Psychology, 28, 121–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Britton, B. K., & Gülgöz, S. (1991). Using Kintsch’s computational model to improve instructional text: Effects of repairing inference calls on recall and cognitive structures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 329–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brush, J. A., & Camp, C. J. (1998). Spaced retrieval during dysphagia therapy: A case study. Clinical Gerontologist: The Journal of Aging and Mental Health, 19, 96–99.Google Scholar
  9. Camp, C. J., & Stevens, A. G. (1990). Spaced-retrieval: A memory intervention for dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. Clinical Gerontologist, 10, 58–61.Google Scholar
  10. Carpenter, S. K. (2009). Cue strength as a moderator of the testing effect: The benefits of elaborative retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35, 1563–1569.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cavallini, E., Dunlosky, J., Bottiroli, S., Hertzog, C., & Vecchi, T. (2010). Promoting transfer in memory training for older adults. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research., 22, 314–323.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cepeda, N. J., Pashler, H., Vul, E., Wixted, J., & Rohrer, D. (2006). Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 354–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cherry, K. E., Simmons, S. S., & Camp, C. J. (1999). Spaced retrieval enhances memory in older adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Clinical Geropsychology, 5, 159–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dempster, F. N. (1988). The spacing effect: A case study in the failure to apply the results of ­psychological research. American Psychologist, 43, 627–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dixon, R. A., & de Frias, C. M. (2007). Mild memory deficits differentially affect 6-year changes in compensatory strategy use. Psychology & Aging, 3, 632–638.Google Scholar
  16. Dixon, R. A., Hopp, G. A., Cohen, A. L., De Frias, C. M., & Bäckman, L. (2003). Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 25, 382–390.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Donovan, J. J., & Radosevich, D. J. (1999). A meta-analytic review of the distribution of practice effect: Now you see it, now you don’t. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 795–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunlosky, J., Kubat-Silman, A. K., & Hertzog, C. (2003). Training monitoring skills improves older adults’ self-paced associative learning. Psychology and Aging, 18, 340–345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Einstein, G., & McDaniel, M. (2004). Memory fitness: A guide for successful aging. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Herrmann, D. J. (1987). Task appropriateness of mnemonic techniques. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 64, 171–178.Google Scholar
  21. Hertzog, C., Kramer, A. F., Wilson, R. S., & Lindenberger, U. (2009a). Enrichment effects on adult cognitive development: Can the functional capacity of older adults be preserved and enhanced? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9, 1–65.Google Scholar
  22. Hertzog, C., Kramer, A. F., Wilson, R. S., & Lindenberger, U. (2009b). Fit body, fit mind? Your workout makes you smarter. Scientific American, 20, 24–31.Google Scholar
  23. Hill, R. D., Campbell, B. W., & Lindsay, S. (1997). The effectiveness of the number-consonant mnemonic for retention of numeric material in community-dwelling older adults. Experimental Aging Research, 23, 275–286.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hill, R. D., Stigstdotter Neely, A., & Bäckman, L. (2000). Cognitive Rehabilitation in Old Age. New York: NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hunt, R. R. (2003). Two contributions of distinctive processing to accurate memory. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 811–825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hunt, R. R., & McDaniel, M. A. (1993). The enigma of organization and distinctiveness. Journal of Memory and Language, 32, 421–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jennings, J. M., & Jacoby, L. L. (2003). Improving memory in older adults: Training recollection. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 14, 417–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kapur, N., Glisky, E. L., & Wilson, B. A. (2004). Technological memory aids for people with memory deficits. Nueropsychological Rehabilitation, 14, 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kornell, N., & Bjork, R. A. (2008). Learning concepts and categories: Is spacing the enemy of induction? Psychological Science, 19, 585–592.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kramer, A. F., Hahn, S., Cohen, N., Banich, M., McAuley, E., Harrison, C., et al. (1999). Aging, fitness, and neurocognitive function. Nature, 400, 418–419.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lövdén, M., Bäckman, L., Lindenberger, U., Schaefer, S., & Schmiedek, F. (2010). A theoretical framework for adult plasticity. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 659–676.Google Scholar
  32. Marschark, M., Richman, C. L., Yuille, J. C., & Hunt, R. R. (1987). The role of imagery in memory: On shared and distinctive information. Psychological Bulletin, 102, 28–41.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Meyer, B. J. F., Young, C. J., & Bartlett, B. J. (1989). Memory improved: Reading and memory enhancement across the life span through strategic text structure. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  34. Pyc, M., & Rawson, K. (2009). Testing the retrieval effort hypothesis: Does greater difficulty correctly recalling information lead to higher levels of memory? Journal of Memory and Language, 60, 437–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: Taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17, 249–255.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rohrer, D., & Taylor, K. (2007). The shuffling of mathematics problems improves learning. Instructional Science, 35, 481–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schnitzspahn, K. M., & Matthia, K. (2009). Age effects in prospective memory performance within older adults: The paradoxical impact of implementation intentions. European Jouranl of Ageing, 6, 147–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thöne-Otto, A. I., & Walther, K. (2009). Assessment and treatment of prospective memory disorders in clinical practice. In M. Kliegel, M. A. McDaniel, & G. Einstein (Eds.), Prospective memory: Cognitive, neuroscience, developmental, and applied perspectives (pp. 321–345). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  39. Tobias, R. (2009). Changing behavior by memory aids: A social psychological model of prospective memory and habit development tested with dynamic field data. Psychological Review, 116, 408–438.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wallheim, C., Jacoby, L. L., & Dunlosky, J. (in press) Spacing enhances the learning of natural concepts: An investigation of mechanisms, metacognition, and aging. Memory & Cognition.Google Scholar
  41. Yates, F. A. (1966). The art of memory. Routledge and Kegan Paul: UK.Google Scholar
  42. Zelinski, E. M. (2009). Far transfer in cognitive training of older adults. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 27, 455–471.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Dunlosky
    • 1
  • Heather Bailey
    • 2
  • Christopher Hertzog
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Washington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations