PhD Proposal by MacKenzie Hughes

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Name: MacKenzie Hughes

Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Meeting

Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Time: 4:00 PM

Location: https://gatech.zoom.us/j/95587020756?pwd=enBrc0ozNDBLU3VyZnBvLzNvZzJzUT09

Meeting ID: 955 8702 0756
Passcode: 078040


Advisor: Christopher Hertzog, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Dissertation Committee Members:

Paul Verhaeghen, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Scott Moffat, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Thackery Brown, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Shevaun Neupert, Ph.D. (North Carolina State University)


Title: Explaining the Link Between Daily Stressor Exposure and Everyday Memory Lapses: The National Study of Daily Experiences


Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated a negative association between stressor exposure and cognitive functioning over short and long timescales. Relatively few studies, however, have identified specific emotional or cognitive mechanisms underlying the stress-cognition link, particularly as the association unfolds within-persons over time in everyday life. This study will assess whether negative affect (NA) or unconstructive repetitive thoughts (URTs) is a stronger mechanism underlying the effect of daily stressor exposure on everyday memory lapses, and whether the magnitude of the association depends on individual differences in neuroticism, age, and executive functioning. Publicly available daily diary data from the Midlife Development in the United States Refresher 1 sample will be analyzed. For eight consecutive days, 782 adults ages 25-75 years old (Mage = 48.27, SD = 12.68) reported their daily experiences via telephone interviews. Multilevel structural equation modeling will be used to examine the indirect effect of stressor exposure on the frequency of everyday memory lapses through NA and URTs between-persons and within-persons across days. It is expected that days with more stressors than usual will be associated with a greater frequency of URTs, which in turn will predict a greater number of memory lapses independent of NA. It is also anticipated that the magnitude of the association between stressor exposure and the frequency of memory lapses through URTs will be greatest among individuals who report higher levels of neuroticism, are middle-aged, and have lower executive functioning as these individuals are expected to be more vulnerable to URTs and experience greater cognitive costs of engaging in URTs. Findings from the proposed project will shed light on for whom and under what circumstances memory lapses occur within the context of everyday life.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Created: 09/26/2022
  • Modified By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Modified: 09/26/2022