Undergraduate and graduate student researchers in Dr. Price's Lifelong Learning Lab investigate issues that influence learning across the lifespan, such as memory, beliefs about memory, metacognition, and strategy use. People's beliefs about their memory impact learning by influencing the learning goals they set for themselves, whether they will attempt difficult tasks, and how long they will continue working when faced with challenges or negative feedback about their performance. Metacognition, or awareness of what one does and does not know and knowledge of factors that affect one's cognitive processes, also influences learning by affecting decisions about what material to study, how long one should persist in studying, and what methods or strategies one will use during study. Developmental changes occur in metacognition as well as memory that might make learning easier or more difficult at different points in the lifespan. Thus, it is important to understand how developmental changes in memory, memory beliefs, and metacognition interact with motivation to impact learning outcomes. Current projects are examining how college age students and older adults utilize metacognition to control self-regulated learning (e.g., item selection, study time allocation, strategy use) behaviors in an effort to better understand whether there are age-related differences in such behaviors and if so, whether the differences seem to reflect age-related changes in memory, metacognition, motivation, or some combination of these.
Please contact the Lifelong Learning Lab (256.824.4950) if you are interested in joining our research team or would like more information about participating in one of our studies.