Investigating the Effects of Discrimination Experiences on Everyday Metamemory

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University of Alabama Libraries

Lifetime and daily experiences of discrimination (based on race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation) contribute to impaired performance on cognitive assessments. However, the underlying mechanism by which discrimination negatively impacts cognition is unclear. Recent research investigating stress-induced impairment of metamemory may address the relationship between discrimination experiences and cognitive impairment. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between lifetime and daily experiences of discrimination, daily affect balance, baseline objective cognitive performance, and sociodemographic variables (age, race, ethnicity, and sex assigned at birth) on impaired everyday metamemory as defined by the number of subjective cognitive complaints from a lifespan perspective (ages 20-75), using data collected from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS Refresher 1) Daily Diary Project (N = 782). Results from linear mixed model analyses showed significant within-person fixed effects of daily discrimination and daily affect balance on metamemory accuracy, as well as significant between-persons fixed effects of race, and ethnicity on metamemory accuracy. Furthermore, significant interaction effects were found between race and daily discrimination experiences, ethnicity and daily discrimination experiences, daily affect balance and daily discrimination experiences, daily affect balance and age, and endorsement of lifetime experiences of discrimination and daily discrimination experiences on day-to-day metamemory accuracy. These findings add to our understanding of how psychosocial stress may impair metacognitive processes and demonstrate the need for more research into understanding metamemory accuracy as an underlying mechanism by which the psychosocial stressor of discrimination impacts cognition across the lifespan.

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Daily Diary, Discrimination, Metamemory, Subjective Cognitive Complaints