Amy Overman and student present research at North Carolina Cognition Conference

The professor in the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program co-authored a presentation with Elon College Fellow Laura Bernstein '19.

Laura Bernstein '19, Elon College Fellow
Professor Amy Overman of the Psychology Department and Neuroscience Program, and Laura Bernstein '19, a psychology major and Elon College Fellow, recently presented research findings at the annual North Carolina Cognition conference. 

The poster presentation, titled "Self-Enhancement and Autobiographical Memory" reported the results of a project that examined whether young and older adults differed in their descriptions of positive and negative experiences from their lives, as well as their ratings of psychological distance from those experiences, ratings of the self-relevance of positive and negative words, and memory for word pairs containing positive and negative words.

Among the primary findings was that although older adults showed a greater preference for positive words in their ratings of self-relevance and in their memory for word pairs, they were not more likely than young adults to rate positive autobiographical memories as psychologically closer than negative autobiographical memories.

The results have implications for the understanding of how young and older adults use memory to support self-enhancement. The study also relates to Overman's ongoing cognitive neuroscience research investigating memory in younger and older adults. Bernstein will continue her research on aging this Fall in the Psychology Ph.D. program at West Virginia University.

The North Carolina Cognition Conference is a scientific meeting that fosters collaboration and cooperation among research groups throughout North Carolina and its neighboring states. Attending researchers are involved in research on human cognition and allied disciplines. The first conference was held in 1972; this year, the conference was hosted by NC State University.