RESEARCH PAPER
Emotionality and the assessment of memory performance (one’s own and that of other people)
 
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Submission date: 2015-06-25
Final revision date: 2015-08-05
Acceptance date: 2015-08-07
Online publication date: 2015-08-21
Publication date: 2015-09-01
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2015;3(3):139–148
 
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ABSTRACT
Background
In clinical practice, the assessments provided by relatives are treated as a source of information about the emotional-cognitive difficulties manifested by a customer. Usually, those opinions are treated as objective data, i.e. data that indicate the real possibilities of the evaluated person.
Data suggest that personality and affective factors of the assessing individual may modify the manner of describing an individual person in one’s care, regardless of the actual difficulties experienced by that individual.

Participants and procedure
In the study, the scale of the Memory Functioning Questionnaire (MFQ) was used in the version investigating oneself, a peer and an elderly individual in relation to whom the assessing individual undertakes care and support activities. The MFQ is relevant to different aspects of memory. The MFQ is composed of 64 questions grouped in scales composed of different numbers of items. Low results on the scales and a low general result illustrate the feeling that one experiences memory difficulties, whereas higher results illustrate the feeling that one’s memory is highly efficient.
The participants (N = 65 individuals; 61% female and 29% male) were between 40 and 76 years old (M = 51.50 and SD = 7.25). In the analyses, the intensity of depression (GDS) and of positive and negative emotionality – state and trait (SUPIN) – of the assessing individual were taken into consideration, assuming that their intensity would correlate with opinions relevant to mnemonic capacities (one’s own and those of other people).

Results
On average, the participants assess their mnemonic competence as higher than that of their peers and of the elderly. The higher the level of abilities which the former ascribe to themselves, the better are those which are ascribed by them to a peer and an elderly individual. Negative affectivity shapes the conviction that one’s own mnemonic competence is deteriorating, and that the same thing is happening to that of a peer/an elderly individual as well.

Conclusions
Evaluation of the psychological functioning of a customer prepared by relatives/a caregiver can indicate symptoms of subclinical severity.
There exists a connection between the affective-personality traits of a caregiver and the manner of the assessment of mnemonic competence (one’s own and that of near relations). The direction of those connections is not clear. The negative affectivity of a near relation/caregiver may result in formulating negative opinions about oneself, and about those in their care. Conversely, typical developmental memory changes in oneself and others can cause anxiety and depressive mood.
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