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Psychology & Neuroscience

On-line version ISSN 1983-3288


MOGRABI, Daniel C.; BROWN, Richard G.; LANDEIRA-FERNANDEZ, J.  and  MORRIS, Robin G.. Metacognition and attribution of difficulty for self and others in Alzheimer's disease. Psychol. Neurosci. [online]. 2014, vol.7, n.3, pp.417-424. ISSN 1983-3288.

A common feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is lack of awareness of neuropsychological deficit or illness, including poor appreciation of impaired task performance. Nevertheless, it has been shown in different clinical groups that levels of awareness may vary according to whether appraisal of symptoms is made in a first-or third-person perspective. This study explored this issue further in two experiments in which people with AD and control participants completed tests of memory and reaction time and had to judge both how difficult the tasks were for them and also for other people if they attempted the same tasks. Results showed that the AD group systematically indicated that others would do as well as they themselves had done. In comparison, control participants indicated other people would perform worse than they did themselves on the reaction time tasks, but similarly on the memory tasks. In addition, attribution of difficulty for self/other correlated with pre-morbid personality traits, such as neuroticism and agreeableness, in the AD group. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords : dementia; anosognosia; awareness; metacognition; perspective taking; success-failure manipulation; pre-morbid personality.

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