Alcoholics overestimate their ability to remember things, according to a new French study, HealthDay reported Aug. 27.
Researchers tested 28 patients diagnosed with alcoholism and 28 non-alcoholic controls.
Participants memorized 20 pairs of items and then predicted how well they would remember them after 20 minutes. They also completed a questionnaire in which they rated their capacity to remember. Researchers then compared their actual performance with their predictions, and evaluated both their memory and their executive functioning.
"[People with alcoholism] had a tendency to overestimate their memory capacities, believing themselves capable of recognizing the correct word when in fact they subsequently failed to do so,” said the study’s lead author, Anne-Pascale Le Berre.
According to Le Berre, the study has implications for teaching alcoholics relapse prevention strategies. If patients “overestimate their memory abilities, they will benefit only partially from their clinical treatment, since they will labor under the illusion that they have sufficiently consolidated this important clinical information for everyday life, whereas the reality is actually very different."
The study was published online on Aug. 24, 2010, in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
From Join Together Online