Metamemory

LASA124 / LASA324

Contact: Hannie Comijs

Background
Metamemory reflects the individuals' perceptions of their own memory. It includes knowledge and use of memory strategies, self-perceptions and beliefs about the functioning of one's memory (Jonker et al. 1997). The Metamemory in Adulthood (MIA; Dixon & Hultsch, 1983) is the most widely used self-report questionnaire on metamemory. The scale consists of seven subscales and 108 items (Dixon & Hultsch, 1984). Each of these subscales is supposed to measure a different aspect of metamemory:

  1. Task or knowledge of basic memory processes
  2. Strategy or knowledge and reported use of memory strategies
  3. Capacity or beliefs regarding one's own memory capacity
  4. Change or perceived change in memory capacities
  5. Achievement or perception of one's own motivation to perform well in memory tasks
  6. Anxiety or perceptions of the relationship between anxiety and memory
  7. Locus or perceived sense of control over memory skills

Each item is scored on a 5-points scale: (1) never, (2) seldom, (3) some of the time, (4) often, (5) always.

Measurement instrument in LASA
In the LASA pilot study all items were used, except for the subscale Task, which appeared to have no correlation with age in several studies. Based on the correlations between subscales, internal consistency and face-validity, the 92 items were reduced to 30 (a-MIA). These items were included in a self-administered questionnaire that was left with the respondents after the interview.

Questionnaires
LASAB124 / LASAC124 / LASAD124 (self-administered questionnaire, in Dutch)

Variable information
LASAB124 / LASAC124 / LASAD124;
LASAB324 / LASAC324 / LASAD324 (scale scores)
(pdf)

Availability of information per wave1:

 

B

C

D

E

 
2B*

F

G

H

 

3B*

MB*

I*

Metamemory

Sa

Sa

Sa

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1 More information is available on:
http://www.lasa-vu.nl/data/lasa/sampleLASAdatacollection.html

* 2B=baseline second cohort;
   3B=baseline third cohort;
   MB=migrants: baseline first cohort (Under Construction);
   I=Under Construction

Sa=data collected in self-administered questionnaire

Previous use in LASA
At baseline (B), 2303 of the LASA baseline sample (N=3707) filled out this questionnaire. From these, 527 did not complete the MIA, leaving a sample of 1776 respondents. Factor analysis on the a-MIA revealed three main factors, which correspond with the subscale Anxiety (9 items), Strategy (10 items) and Locus (5 items). The six remaining items were distributed across three other factors, comparable with the subscales Capacity, Change and Achievement (Jonker et al. 1994).

References

  1. Dixon RA & Hultsch DF. Structure and development of metamemory in adulthood. Journal of Gerontology, 1983, 38: 682-688.
  2. Dixon RA & Hultsch DF. The Metamemory in Adulthood (MIA) instrument. Psychol Doc, 1984, 14:3.
  3. Jonker C. Perceptions of memory functioning. In : Deeg DJH and Westendorp-de Seriere M (eds), Autonomy and well-being in the aging population. Report from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam 1992-1993. VU Uitgeverij, Amsterdam The Netherlands, 1994.
  4. Jonker C, Smits CHM & Deeg DJH. Affect-related metamemory and memory performance in a population-based sample of older adults. Educational Gerontology, 1997, 23:115-128.