Alan Castel Ph.D.

Alan Castel, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on the psychology of aging, how cognition changes with age, and the degree to which people are aware of their own memory ability. He conducts research with people across the lifespan, and gains insight using experimental methods and both structured and informal interviews. He received the Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Research on Adult Development and Aging from the American Psychological Association and the UCLA Department of Psychology Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. Dr. Castel regularly gives seminars to community groups of older adult and organizations, and his work has been featured in various media outlets, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health and AARP. His new book is entitled Better with Age: The Psychology of Successful Aging.

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Metacognition and the Mind

Do you ever find yourself reflecting on your own thoughts, or wondering whether you will remember something? Metacognition allows us to think about our thoughts, and to monitor our memories.  Inaccurate metacognition can make us think we know more than we know, or think we will remember something, when in fact we won’t. As we get older we may become more aware of how our memory works, how and when it fails, and what we can do to adapt to these changes. The metacognitive mind allows us to know what we know, and to know what we don’t know and what we can do about it.

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