False feedback and beliefs influence name recall in younger and older adults
Feedback is an important self-regulatory process that affects task effort and subsequent performance. Benefits of positive feedback for list recall have been explored in research on goals and feedback, but the effect of negative feedback on memory has rarely been studied. The current research extends knowledge of memory and feedback effects by investigating face–name association memory and by examining the potential mediation of feedback effects, in younger and older adults, through self-evaluative beliefs. Beliefs were assessed before and after name recognition and name recall testing. Repeated presentation of false positive feedback was compared to false negative feedback and a no feedback condition. Results showed that memory self-efficacy declined over time for participants in the negative and no feedback conditions but was sustained for those receiving positive feedback. Furthermore, participants who received negative feedback felt older after testing than before testing. For name recall, the positive feedback group outperformed the negative feedback and no feedback groups combined, with no age interactions. The observed feedback-related effects on memory were fully mediated by changes in memory self-efficacy. These findings advance our understanding of how beliefs are related to feedback in memory and inform future studies examining the importance of self-regulation in memory.
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