Below are some research projects that I plan to pursue within SMiP over the next few years. Of course, PhD Candidates are welcome to devise their own thesis focus within these broader projects:
Metamemory predictions of different memory processes (in cooperation with Arndt Bröder): Research on metamemory monitoring evaluates individuals’ ability to predict the likelihood of their later memory of an event (judgment of learning, JOL), or how confident they are in their memory report at test (confidence judgments, CJs). However, most of this research is limited to relating metamemory measures to empirical manifestations of memory-test performance (e.g., recalled or not), which confounds various memory and non-memory (e.g., guessing) processes. The MPT model family allows more precise measurement of such processes, but linking the MPT approach with continuous metamemory judgments is nontrivial. In this dissertation project, possible approaches to link metamemory judgments with MPT parameter estimates will be explored (see Kuhlmann & Undorf, 2018, for one approach) in order to evaluate how well metamemory judgments predict specific memory processes.
Emotional congruency effects in source memory: Source memory refers to memory for information and its context, for example who originally said something. So far, investigations of emotional influences on source memory have been confined to either manipulating emotionality of the item information (e.g., Mather, 2007) or of the source (e.g., Bell, Mieth & Buchner, 2017). However, it is quite unlikely that only the item or the source will have an emotional connotation, whereas the other is completely neutral. If both the item and its source have emotional connotations these can be congruent (e.g., a loved one delivering a wanted object) or discongruent (e.g., a disliked person delivering a wanted object). The proposed project aims at systematically examining the effects of emotional congruence in source memory, using the two-high threshold multinomial model of source monitoring (2HTSM; Bayen, Murnane, & Erdfelder, 1996).
Longitudinal cognitive aging: Modeling education- and job-related effects on the individual, generational and country level (in cooperation with Sabine Sonnentag): Cognitive declines with aging are inevitable, but there are pronounced interindividual differences in the rate of cognitive decline as well as remarkable differences in cognitive aging rates between cohorts (generations) and countries (Grasshoff et al., 2021). Whereas education is a well-established moderator of age-related cognitive change, the longitudinal effects of job history including job control, learning opportunities and experienced job stressors (Sonnentag et al., 2014) on cognitive change have not been modeled systematically. In this project we aim to apply multilevel modeling techniques to examine the temporal effects of education and job history as person-level predictors of cognitive change rates as well as of education, job and retirement policy differences as cohort-level and country-level predictors.