Personality characteristics are independently associated with prospective memory in the laboratory, and in daily life, among older adults

Kerry A. McCabe, Steven Paul Woods, Michael Weinborn*, Hamid Sohrabi, Stephanie Rainey-Smith, Belinda M. Brown, Samantha L. Gardener, Kevin Taddei, Ralph N. Martins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Prospective memory (PM) can deteriorate with age and adversely influence health behaviours. Research suggests that personality is related to PM in healthy young adults, but we know little about the role of personality in the PM amongst older adults. Community-dwelling older adults (N = 152) completed the NEO Five-Factor Inventory-3 and PM measures. After adjusting for demographics and general cognition, higher neuroticism and lower levels of openness were independently associated with lower objectively-measured time- and event-based PM. Lower conscientiousness was the only personality predictor of self-reported everyday PM failures. Findings indicate that personality plays a role in PM functioning in the laboratory and daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018



  • Ageing
  • Big Five personality
  • Declarative memory
  • Memory for intentions

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