LEARNING OBJECTIVES

• What are the major ways that memory skills are trained? How effective are these methods?

• What are the key individual difference variables in memory training?

A

fter retirement, Alison and Charlie noticed that they were having trouble remembering things more so than they used to. They were worried that given their advanced age there was nothing they could do about it. However, one night they saw an advertisement on television suggesting that we have control over our memory fitness. As fate would have it, the next day there was a flyer posted in their con­dominium recreation room for a memory training class to help older adults overcome memory failures. They immediately signed up.

Imagine that you have problems remembering where you left your keys. Or suppose that someone you love has gone through a comprehensive diagnos­tic process like that advocated in the previous sec­tion, and a memory problem was discovered. Is there anything that can be done to help people remem­ber? In most cases, the answer is yes. Fortunately for Alison and Charlie they learned of this. Researchers have developed different types of memory train­ing programs, many of which are effective even for persons with severe memory impairments (Camp, 1998; West, 1995). In this section we examine some of the attempts at remediating memory problems and some of the individual differences that affect the success of these programs.