Abstract

The neuropsychological evaluation of memory by traditional tests raises questions about their ecological validity, as the results on these tests often have little relation to the memory complaints. In an attempt to explain this lack of relationship, the present study had two objectives: (1) explore the ecological superiority of the Process Dissociation Procedure (PDP) over traditional memory tests and (2) explore the effects of routinization on the relationship between memory complaints and memory tests. Thirty-three participants aged 55–86 years were given the PDP (memory evaluation), two questionnaires evaluating daily memory complaints (QAM and CDS) and a questionnaire evaluating routinization (EPR). The results indicate that the PDP, with its measure of controlled processes, is more ecological than traditional memory tests for elderly people. As well, the participants' lifestyle (routinized versus non-routinized) influenced their results on memory tests. The results are discussed in relation to neuropsychological evaluation and rehabilitation.