Everyday memory

Everyday memory

LASA filenames:

Contact: Almar Kok


Everyday memory is based on the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test (EMT), and is included to measure memory function in an ecologically valid way (Wilson et al. 1985). It measures memory as we use memory in daily life. Aspects of memory included are prospective memory (remembering to do something at a particular time) and intentional (purposeful) and accidental (unintentional) learning.

Measurement instrument in LASA

The version used in LASA is specially constructed for this study; psychometric properties were acceptable, but not very high (Smits, 1994, Maria, van Rijsselt et al. 1995). The items were mixed in with various parts of the interview. The respondent was asked to remember to choose the right colour ballpoint in a subsequent task (item 1), to remember the name of a girl in a photograph (item 2), to ask a particular question in response to an auditory cue (item 3), and to ask a particular question at the end of the testing session (item 4). Scores on the items ranged from (0) no response, even after being cued, (1) a correct response after being cued, and (2) Correct response without a cue. All item scores were summed up to obtain a EMT total score.

LASAB023 / LASAF023 (main interview, in Dutch)

Variable information


Availability in LASA per wave


Everyday memory


¹   More information about the LASA data collection waves is available here.

*  2B=baseline second cohort;
3B=baseline third cohort;
MB=migrants: baseline first cohort;
K=future wave 2021-2022

Ma=data collected in main interview

Previous use in LASA

There are currently 3 papers published in LASA using this construct in LASA.  One study focused on the association between aspects of emotional and cognitive functioning and two stages of the disablement process model, functional limitations, and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) disability (Smits, Deeg et al. 1997). Of the cognitive functions, only everyday memory was independently associated with IADL disability. In a separate study, social participation showed significant bivariate correlations with all components of cognitive functioning including everyday memory (Maria, van Rijsselt et al. 1995).


  1. Maria, CHS, et al. (1995). “Social participation and cognitive functioning in older adults.” International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 10(4): 325-331.
  2. Smits CHM. Everyday memory. 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.
  3. Smits, CHM, et al. (1997). “Cognitive and Emotional Predictors of Disablement in Older Adults.” Journal of Aging and Health 9(2): 204-221.
  4. Wilson BA, Cockburn J, Baddeley AD. The Rivermead Behavioral Memory Test. Thames Valley Test Co., Titchfield, 1985.

Date of last update: January 3, 2019