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Psychology and Aging

Jonathan Rush, Philippe Rast, David M Almeida, Scott M Hofer
Short-term within-person associations are considered to reflect unique dynamic characteristics of an individual and are frequently used to predict distal outcomes. These effects are typically examined with a 2-step statistical process. The present research demonstrates how long-term changes in short-term within-person associations can be modeled simultaneously within a multilevel structural equation modeling framework. We demonstrate the utility of this model using measurement burst data from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE) embedded within the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) longitudinal study...
February 7, 2019: Psychology and Aging
Becca R Levy, Martin D Slade, Rachel Lampert
This study examined whether stereotypes about an out-group could influence physical health. It had been previously shown that positive stereotypes held by older individuals about their in-group benefited physical health. However, the potential impact on physical health from idealizing their out-group, the young, through positive stereotypes had not been studied. The cohort consisted of 189 participants, aged 60 and older, who experienced a cardiovascular event: a myocardial infarction (MI). Participants reported their stereotypes about the young and the old at baseline...
February 7, 2019: Psychology and Aging
Emily Schoenhofen Sharp, Christopher R Beam, Chandra A Reynolds, Margaret Gatz
Openness to experience has been found to be a correlate of successful aging outcomes yet also has been found to decline from middle age onward. We hypothesized that decline in openness would be associated with death. Using longitudinal data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging (SATSA), the analytic sample encompassed 1954 individuals, approximately two-thirds of whom were deceased. We tested whether openness declines across late adulthood and, central to our hypothesis, whether the decline correlated with age at death...
January 21, 2019: Psychology and Aging
Julia Groß, Thorsten Pachur
After people have learned a fact or the outcome of an event, they often overestimate their ability to have known the correct answer beforehand. This hindsight bias has two sources: an impairment in direct recall of the original (i.e., uninformed) judgment after presentation of the correct answer (recollection bias) and a reconstruction of the original judgment that is biased toward the correct answer (reconstruction bias). Research on how cognitive aging affects these two sources of hindsight bias has produced mixed results...
January 17, 2019: Psychology and Aging
Vanessa M Loaiza, Alessandra S Souza
Deficits in the use of attention to refresh representations are argued to underlie age-related decline in working memory (WM). Retro-cues guide attention to WM contents, enabling the direct assessment of refreshing in WM. This preregistered study investigated aging deficits in refreshing via retro-cues and the preservation of refreshing boosts after distraction incurred by a secondary task. The distractor task is assumed to impede refreshing by engaging attention away from the memoranda. Any free time available before or after distractor processing, however, can be used to resume refreshing thereby ameliorating distractor-related interference...
January 14, 2019: Psychology and Aging
Cara C MacInnis, Carlina Ulrich, Candace Konnert
Many older adults require assistive technology to maintain mobility (e.g., canes, walkers, wheelchairs, or scooters), but concerns about experiencing prejudice because of mobility devices can deter use. We explore this potential prejudice in a sample recruited through online crowdsourcing. Overall, prejudice toward older adult mobility device users was not observed. Older adult mobility device users were evaluated more positively than common prejudice target groups. However, heightened prejudice toward older adult mobility device users was observed among those higher in authoritarianism or social dominance orientation...
December 27, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Marcin A Radecki, Simon R Cox, Sarah E MacPherson
The extent to which early-life cognitive ability shapes individuals' social functioning throughout life, in the context of later-life factors, is unknown. We investigated performance on the Faux Pas test (FP) in relation to psychosocial characteristics and childhood intelligence scores in 90 healthy older men. FP performance was associated with close social network size but not social contact, social support, or loneliness when accounting for both childhood and later-life intelligence, affect, personality, and sociodemography...
December 20, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Robert S Stawski, Stacey B Scott, Matthew J Zawadzki, Martin J Sliwinski, David Marcusson-Clavertz, Jinhyuk Kim, Stephanie T Lanza, Paige A Green, David M Almeida, Joshua M Smyth
Advancing age is often characterized by preserved or even enhanced emotion regulation, which is thought to manifest in terms of age-related reductions in the within-person association between stressors and negative affect. Existing research from ecological momentary assessment and end-of-day daily diary studies examining such age-related benefits have yielded mixed results, potentially due to differences in samples, design, and measurement of everyday stressors and negative affect. We conducted a coordinated analysis of 5 ecological momentary assessments and 2 end-of-day daily diary studies to examine adult age differences in the within-person association between everyday stressors and negative affect...
December 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Amber E Witherby, Sarah K Tauber, Matthew G Rhodes, Alan D Castel
Recently, researchers have evaluated the mechanisms that contribute to younger adults' metacognitive monitoring. According to analytic-processing theory, people's beliefs about their memory are central to their monitoring judgments. Although this theory has received ample support with younger adults, it has yet to be evaluated with older adults. We aimed to address this gap in the literature. Specifically, we evaluated younger and older adults' beliefs about forgetting, and the role of these beliefs in their judgments about forgotten information...
December 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Christopher A Kurby, Jeffrey M Zacks
Human activity is structured by goals and subgoals. To understand an everyday activity, a viewer must perceive its goal structure, and viewers may segment activity into units that correspond to perceived goals. In this study, we examined age differences in the ability to perceive hierarchical goal structure in ongoing activity. A group of younger and older adults viewed short movies of an actor doing everyday activities, segmented them into events, and described the events as they segmented. We investigated how participants' event descriptions were related to the hierarchical goal structure, and whether participants' event segmentation was related to moment-by-moment changes in actor goals...
December 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Fergus I M Craik, Eldar Eftekhari, Ellen Bialystok, Nicole D Anderson
Two prominent aspects of memory problems in older adults are a difficulty in retrieving recent episodic events and an often transient inability to retrieve names and other well-known facts from semantic memory. The question addressed in the present studies was whether these age-related difficulties reflect a common cause-a retrieval problem related to inefficient executive functions (EF). In the first study, 50 older adults were given 4 tests of EF; a derived composite measure correlated strongly with a measure of retrieval efficacy in free recall, less strongly with paired-associate recall, and nonsignificantly with retrieval of general knowledge...
December 3, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Martin Katzorreck, Ute Kunzmann
With increasing age, proximity to one's own death increases and topics related to death and dying may become particularly relevant and familiar. Consequently, older, as compared to young, adults should experience stronger negative emotions in response to these topics and show higher empathy for other individuals dealing with them. To address these predictions, in a first study, we presented two types of death-related stimuli to 41 young and 41 older adults (i.e., participants were asked to write about how they think and feel about their own death and they were presented with three newly developed films of adults talking about various death-related aspects)...
November 29, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Xin Du, Yang Ji, Tianyong Chen, Yi Tang, Buxin Han
Working memory updating (updating) and working memory capacity (WMC) have been assumed to share a common mechanism. However, it is unclear whether WMC can be expanded by boosting the efficiency of updating, particularly during late adulthood. In this randomized controlled study, 33 older adults (aged 60 years and above, M = 69.53, SD = 5.21) were assigned to updating training (n = 17) and contact control (n = 16) groups. In the training group, updating was targeted by a running memory task and a chess game in each training session; whereas in the control group, motivational effects were estimated by their attendance to a series of mental health-related lectures...
November 26, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Brandon P Vasquez, Nicole D Anderson
Previous studies on response time intraindividual variability (RT IIV) have focused on differences between groups, ignoring the potential for modification. The current study provides a detailed analysis of RT IIV training effects across three age groups. Healthy adults (40 young [aged 18-30], 40 young-old [aged 65-74], and 41 old-old [aged 75-85]) were assigned to feedback or no feedback (standard) conditions during a touch-screen feature integration task. In the feedback condition, participants were shown their performance on the previous block of trials and encouraged to improve going forward...
November 26, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Elizabeth A L Stine-Morrow
In this editorial, the author observes that the coming years promise a number of challenges, including the proliferation of open-source journals, increasingly interdisciplinary work that requires evaluation from multiple perspectives, and growing concerns about replication. Obviously the continuation of excellence will require effective management to keep submission and review processes efficient and publication lag at a minimum. At the same time, moving the journal forward in the face of accelerating science and new publication models demands thoughtful examination of values...
February 2019: Psychology and Aging
Sarah Seligman Rycroft, Tania Giovannetti, Thomas F Shipley, Jacob Hulswit, Ross Divers, Jamie Reilly
Subtle changes in everyday tasks precede and predict future disability in older adults. Eye tracking may provide a sensitive tool for detecting subtle disruption of everyday task performance and informing the mechanism(s) of breakdown. We tracked eye movements of healthy older adults (OA, n = 24) and younger adults (YA, n = 25) while they passively viewed a naturalistic scene (Passive Viewing condition) and then verbally reported the necessary steps for achieving a task goal (e.g., pack a lunch; Verbalize Goal condition)...
December 2018: Psychology and Aging
Dorothée Altmeier, Otmar Bock, Daniel Memmert
To examine the effect of short-term video presentation intervention (VPI) on stair self-efficacy and on stair-climbing ability, 90 participants age 65 and above were randomly assigned to 3 groups: The first intervention group watched role models descending the same staircase used for testing, the second intervention group watched role models descending an unfamiliar staircase, and the control group watched an irrelevant control video. This study found that stair-climbing duration was shortened compared with the pretest without affecting movement fluency as supported by the social-cognitive theory...
December 2018: Psychology and Aging
Katja I Häuser, Vera Demberg, Jutta Kray
Even though older adults are known to have difficulty at language processing when a secondary task has to be performed simultaneously, few studies have addressed how older adults process language in dual-task demands when linguistic load is systematically varied. Here, we manipulated surprisal, an information theoretic measure that quantifies the amount of new information conveyed by a word, to investigate how linguistic load affects younger and older adults during early and late stages of sentence processing under conditions when attention is split between two tasks...
December 2018: Psychology and Aging
Beatrice G Kuhlmann, Monika Undorf
Although recollection-based memory declines with age, relative metamemory monitoring is reported to be spared from aging. Based on a dual-process perspective on memory, we tested whether it is specifically the monitoring of automatic influences of memory (familiarity), but not of recollection, that is spared. In Experiment 1, we used the process-dissociation procedure (PDP) task from Undorf, Böhm, and Cüpper (2016) requiring modality-based exclusions and found older (61-83 years) adults' judgments of learning (JOLs) to predict both recollection and familiarity estimates...
December 2018: Psychology and Aging
Elizabeth Ankudowich, Stamatoula Pasvanis, M Natasha Rajah
Altered functional connectivity between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), posterior hippocampus (HC) and other brain regions with advanced age may contribute to age-related differences in episodic memory. In the current fMRI study of spatial context memory, we used seed connectivity analysis to test for age-related differences in the correlations between activity in DLPFC and HC seeds, and the rest of the brain, in an adult life span sample. In young adults, we found that connectivity between right DLPFC and other prefrontal cortex regions, parietal cortex, precuneus, and ventral visual cortices during encoding was positively related to performance...
November 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
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