Age effects in prospective memory performance within older adults: the paradoxical impact of implementation intentions

Katharina Schnitzspahn (Corresponding Author), Matthias Kliegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated age effects in prospective memory performance within older adults. The first aim was to explore this issue by examining event- and time-based prospective memory performance in two age groups: young-old (60–75 years) and old-old adults (76–90 years). Moreover, this study for the first time investigated whether forming implementation intentions could be used to improve prospective memory in young-old and old-old adults. Results showed a general effect of age in prospective memory performance for both task types. In addition, no general effect of implementation intentions in prospective memory performance across both task types and age groups was found. However, testing implementation intention effects separately for both age groups revealed that the formation of implementation intentions enhanced prospective memory only for the young-old adults, but did not substantially affect the performance in the time-based task and even impaired it in the event-based task for the old-old adults. Findings indicate that the formation of implementation intentions might be a powerful memory strategy for young-old adults, but not for the very old.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Aging
Issue number2
Early online date29 Apr 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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