Self-Efficacy for Recognizing Cognitive Lapses Predicts Performance on a Novel Task Assessing Daily Naturalistic Activities in Community-Dwelling Mid-life and Older Adults

Xingzi Li, Washington State University, Pullman, United States
Margaret Dines, Washington State University, Pullman, United States
Libby DesRuisseaux, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States
Michelle Gereau Mora, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States
Yana Suchy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, United States
Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Washington State University, Pullman, United States


Neuropsychological assessments have been used in research and clinical settings to evaluate cognitive and daily functioning. However, lab-based neurocognitive tasks have limitations in predicting functioning in the real-world as they are examiner-directed and administered in a relatively structured environment with minimal distractions. Participants’ perception of their daily functioning may contribute important information about ability to manage everyday tasks under varying contextual conditions (e.g., distraction, fatigue). This study examined daily functioning using a novel and ecologically valid protocol (the Daily Assessment of Independent Living and Executive Skills protocol; DAILIES; Brothers & Suchy, 2021). We hypothesized that, after controlling for objective measures of global cognition and executive functioning, self-report measures of cognitive self-efficacy and memory will account for additional variance in DAILIES performance.

Participants and Methods:

Participants were 40 community-dwelling mid-life and older adults (Mage = 69.17, SD = 10.05, range: 52-93, 72.5% female, 95% White) with subjective cognitive complaints or mild cognitive impairment, enrolled in a clinical trial for a digital application. Participants completed a remote assessment and independently completed the DAILIES tasks in their home environment during the three following weeks. In three hierarchical regression models, each DAILIES score (total scores, accuracy, and timeliness) was regressed on global cognition (Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status) and a composite executive function score (D-KEFS verbal fluency subtest, the clock drawing test, the Behavioral Disinhibition Scale (items 5-8)) in block one, and self-reported confidence in recognizing cognitive lapses (Cognitive Self-Efficacy Questionnaire-II, part I) and self-reported memory slips in everyday life (Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire) in block two.


For the DAILIES total score model, the results revealed that adding self-report measures did not significantly improve the prediction accuracy of the model (ΔR= .11, ΔF(2, 35) = 2.69, = .08), but the final model was statistically significant (R= .26, F(4,35) = 3.11, = .03) with self-efficacy in recognizing cognitive lapses emerging as a significant predictor (β = .37, = .03). For the DAILIES accuracy score model, addition of self-report measures significantly improved the prediction accuracy of the model (ΔR= .20, ΔF(2, 35) = 5.17, = .01). The final model was also significant (R= .33, F(4, 35) = 4.35, = .006) with self-efficacy in recognizing cognitive lapses emerging again as a significant predictor (β = .37, = .02). The model for timeliness of task completion was not statistically significant.


Participants who self-reported greater confidence in recognizing cognitive lapses also had higher accuracy scores on the DAILIES, perhaps because they put more strategies in place to support daily performances. The findings highlight the usefulness of utilizing both objective and subjective measures when assessing daily functioning. The current project does have several limitations, including having a smaller sample size and not measuring additional factors that may impact performance, such as how busy participants were. Additionally, participants were presented with physical copies of detailed instructions and the scheduled time window for task completion, which may potentially undermine the role of memory in predicting task performance.

Category: Aging

Keyword 1: activities of daily living
Keyword 2: self-report