The theory of Selective Optimization with Compensation (SOC) outlines how individuals may adapt more or less successfully to aging-related changes. Controlling for age, gender, education, and subjective health, the present study examined the relationships between cognitive failures and the SOC life management strategies. Results of this online survey (N = 409) indicated that SOC endorsement accounted for a significant reduction in each of the facets of the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (i.e., forgetfulness, distractibility, and false triggering). Additional hypotheses tested whether mood may have a moderating effect on the beneficial effects of SOC, and whether SOC endorsement may moderate individual's efforts to compensate for perceived memory impairments. Results suggest that low mood attenuates the beneficial effects that SOC has on the frequency of cognitive failures. Counter to expectations, SOC endorsement did not affect the forgetfulness/memory compensation relationship. Results are discussed in view of methodological limitations and suggestions for future research are outlined.
4th World Conference on Psychology, Counselling and Guidance Programme, 2013