Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name







Kristoffer Romero



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The older adult population in Canada is growing rapidly, increasing the prevalence and burden of conditions that impact these individuals, such as dementia. Given that early detection and intervention are strongly associated with better disease outcomes, understanding the progression from healthy aging to dementia is critical. Two factors contributing to disease progression are cognitive impairment on objective neuropsychological measures and subjective cognitive complaints. However, the association between individuals’ perceptions of their cognitive abilities and their performance on cognitive tests remains unclear. Therefore, the goal of this project was to gain insight into the relationship between subjective and objective cognitive functioning among older adults. This was performed using both a large-scale longitudinal dataset (Study 1) as well as a quasi-experimental study (Study 2). Study 1 analyzed the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging dataset to compare the relationship between “offline” subjective cognitive measures (i.e., self-reports) and cognitive performance in healthy older adults. The objective was to determine whether subjective ratings significantly predict cognitive performance at a single time point and/or change in cognitive performance over a three-year period. Study 2 consisted of an event memory task in which both older and younger adults watched a series of short video clips, performed a free recall task, and made memory confidence and subjective vividness ratings. The objective for Study 2 was to examine whether the relationship between various “online” subjective memory ratings (i.e., trial-by-trial metamemory) and event memory performance is impacted by age. Moreover, the effect of subjective vividness on these associations was assessed. Results from Study 1 demonstrated no significant associations between objective cognitive performance and self-reported cognitive ability cross sectionally and very weak associations longitudinally. Results from Study 2 indicated no age effects for overall metamemory accuracy (i.e., absolute accuracy) prospectively or retrospectively, but a benefit of younger age for trial-by-trial metamemory performance retrospectively. Vividness demonstrated strong associations with overall metamemory accuracy both prospectively and retrospectively, but no association with trial-by-trial metamemory monitoring. Taken together, the findings from these studies help tease apart previous equivocal results and provide insight into the relationship between subjective and objective functioning in older adults.