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Psychology and Aging

Robert Ramkhalawansingh, John S Butler, Jennifer L Campos
Younger adults integrate visual and vestibular cues to self-motion in a manner consistent with optimal integration; however, little is currently known about whether this process changes with older age. Our objective was to determine whether older adults, like younger adults, display evidence of optimal visual-vestibular integration, including reductions in bimodal variance (Visual + Vestibular) compared with unimodal variance (visual or vestibular alone), and reliability-based cue weighting. We used a motion simulator and a head-mounted display to introduce a 2-interval forced-choice heading estimation task...
July 12, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Konstantinos Mantantzis, Elizabeth A Maylor, Friederike Schlaghecken
When faced with a cognitively demanding task, older adults tend to disengage and withdraw effort. At the same time, their usual processing preference for positive information disappears. Providing glucose as an energy resource is known to improve cognitive performance and reinstate older adults' positivity preference. Here, we examined whether glucose can help older adults to exert more effort under high difficulty conditions, and if so, whether such increase is accompanied by a change in positive affect. Fifty-three young and 58 older adults consumed a glucose or a placebo drink and completed a memory-search task at three levels of difficulty...
July 12, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Stephanie A Robinson, Margie E Lachman
The cognitive benefits of a greater sense of control are well-established; however, only recently have the mechanisms involved in this relationship been explored. Because of its well-established cognitive benefits and positive relationship to perceived control, physical activity has been suggested as a potential mediator. However, with age, not only does cognition tend to decline, but so does one's perception of control and their level of physical activity. Therefore, it is important to understand the relationship between these variables from a life span perspective...
July 9, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Tina Braun, Margund K Rohr, Jenny Wagner, Ute Kunzmann
Past work suggests that perceived reciprocity in social relationships declines with age. Although positive associations between perceived reciprocity and relationship satisfaction have been documented, relationship satisfaction seems to remain relatively stable over the life-span. Addressing this seemingly contradictory pattern of findings, we predicted that perceived reciprocity may become less important to relationship satisfaction with age and that this association differs across various relationship categories (i...
July 9, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Dennis Reike, Wolf Schwarz
Whereas many cognitive tasks show pronounced aging effects, even in healthy older adults, other tasks seem more resilient to aging. A small number of recent studies suggests that number comparison is possibly one of the abilities that remain unaltered across the life span. We investigated the ability to compare single-digit numbers in young (19-39 years; n = 39) and healthy older (65-79 years; n = 39) adults in considerable detail, analyzing accuracy as well as mean and variance of their response time, together with several other well-established hallmarks of numerical comparison...
July 5, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Thomas Rulleau, Lucette Toussaint
Understanding how changes in afferent signal processing may impact the sensorimotor processes is essential for physical therapists whose objective is to actively improve the reorganization of motor function in patients suffering from sensorimotor system disturbance. Because the sensorimotor processes are slowed with the advance in age, we examined whether a single massage session can reactivate the sensorimotor processes of older adult inpatients. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental (with massage) or control (without massage) groups...
July 2, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Alp Aslan, Thomas John
Providing a subset of previously studied items as retrieval cues can both impair and improve memory for the remaining items. Here, we investigated such part-list cuing effects in younger and older adults' episodic recall, using listwise directed forgetting to manipulate study context access at test. When context access was maintained, part-list cuing impaired recall regardless of age. In contrast, when context access was impaired, part-list cuing improved recall in younger but not in older adults. The results are consistent with the proposal that older adults show intact inhibition and blocking of competing information, but reduced capability for episodic context reactivation...
June 21, 2018: Psychology and Aging
David Richter, Rui Mata
To describe adult age differences in intertemporal choice, we analyzed data from 1,491 participants who completed an incentivized monetary intertemporal discounting choice task involving different conditions (e.g., time delay of 12 months vs. 1 month). Respondents completed a number of other survey measures including behavioral measures of cognitive ability and self-reports concerning health, financial security, and demographic characteristics. We found significant quadratic (U-shaped) effects of age in task conditions involving 12-month (but not 1-month) delays, with middle-aged adults proving most patient relative to younger and older adults...
June 21, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Sha Li, Lin Li, Jingxin Wang, Victoria A McGowan, Kevin B Paterson
Effects of word length on where and for how long readers fixate within text are preserved in older age for alphabetic languages like English that use spaces to demarcate word boundaries. However, word length effects for older readers of naturally unspaced, character-based languages like Chinese are unknown. Accordingly, we examined age differences in eye movements for short (2-character) and long (4-character) words during Chinese reading. Word length effects on eye-fixation times were greater for older than younger adults...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Natalie Berger, Anne Richards, Eddy J Davelaar
Research suggests that cognition-emotion interactions change with age. In the present study, younger and older adults completed a 2-back task, and the effects of negative stimuli were analyzed as a function of their status in the n-back sequence. Older adults were found to benefit more from angry than from neutral probes relative to younger adults. However, they were slower when lures were angry and less accurate when lures and probes had the same emotion. The results suggest that recollection of the n-back sequence was reduced in older adults, making them more susceptible to the facilitating and impairing effects of negative emotion...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Yasmin Abo Foul, Renana Eitan, Hillel Aviezer
Older adults have poor recognition of isolated facial expressions, yet outside the lab, such faces are typically perceived with contextual expressive bodies. In fact, recent work suggests that real-life facial expressions may be ambiguous while contextual information such as body language may be more diagnostic for decoding emotions. We examined the recognition of emotion from incongruent face-body composites and found that compared to young adults, older adults gave the body far more weight when recognizing emotion...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
David Maillet, Roger E Beaty, Megan L Jordano, Dayna R Touron, Areeba Adnan, Paul J Silvia, Thomas R Kwapil, Gary R Turner, R Nathan Spreng, Michael J Kane
In recent years, several laboratory studies have indicated that healthy older adults exhibit a reduction in mind-wandering frequency compared with young adults. However, it is unclear if these findings extend to daily life settings. In the current study, using experience sampling over the course of a week in the daily life of 31 young and 20 older adults, we assessed age-related differences in: (a) mind-wandering frequency, (b) the relationship between affect and mind-wandering frequency, and (c) content of mind wandering...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Bibiana M Armenta, Susanne Scheibe, Katherine Stroebe, Tom Postmes, Nico W Van Yperen
This work examines the hypothesis that older workers' responses to negative events at work depend, in part, on daily fluctuations of subjective age bias (SAB; how old people feel compared to their actual age) and age group identification (age GI). We tested whether SAB and age GI fluctuate over time, whether they influence attributions of negative daily work events as age-related, and thereby predict older workers' daily affect and cognitive engagement in their work. A diary study with 169 older workers (aged 50-70 years) demonstrates that there are substantial daily variations in SAB and GI...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Jingxin Wang, Lin Li, Sha Li, Fang Xie, Simon P Liversedge, Kevin B Paterson
Age-related reading difficulty is well established for alphabetic languages. Compared to young adults (18-30 years), older adults (65+ years) read more slowly, make more and longer fixations, make more regressions, and produce larger word-frequency effects. However, whether similar effects are observed for nonalphabetic languages like Chinese remains to be determined. In particular, recent research has suggested Chinese readers experience age-related reading difficulty but do not produce age differences in the word-frequency effect...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Kendra L Seaman, Mikella A Green, Stephen Shu, Gregory R Samanez-Larkin
In a previous study, we found adult age differences in the tendency to accept more positively skewed gambles (with a small chance of a large win) than other equivalent risks, or an age-related positive-skew bias. In the present study, we examined whether loss aversion explained this bias. A total of 508 healthy participants (ages 21-82) completed measures of loss aversion and skew preference. Age was not related to loss aversion. Although loss aversion was a significant predictor of gamble acceptance, it did not influence the age-related positive-skew bias...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Lameese Eldesouky, Tammy English
Several influential theories posit that improvements in emotion regulation contribute to enhanced emotional well-being in older adulthood. However, surprisingly little is known about whether there are age differences in emotion regulation strategy use. We addressed this question by testing whether older adults report using typically adaptive strategies more often and regulate more flexibly than relatively younger adults. In a two-part study, 136 married couples (N = 272) aged 23-85 years completed individual difference measures of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, and then nine daily reports of a broader range of emotion regulation strategies, now including situation selection, situation modification, and distraction...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Ruth A Sibbett, Tom C Russ, Alison Pattie, John M Starr, Ian J Deary
The presence of an apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele, lower physical fitness, smoking, and lower serum vitamin B-12 have been reported as contributing to poorer cognitive function in LBC1921 at age 79, after adjusting for childhood intelligence. Because incident dementia was not previously ascertained within LBC1921, it is possible that preclinical or unrecognized cases at age 79 influenced findings. Dementia cases arising over approximately 16 years of follow-up were determined by a consensus using evidence from electronic medical records, death certificates, and clinical reviews...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Wiebke Bleidorn, Ted Schwaba
We examined the course of self-esteem during the transition to retirement in a sample of 690 retirees (ages 51-81) and a propensity-score matched-comparison group of 515 nonretirees drawn from a nationally representative longitudinal study in the Netherlands. The average retiree decreased in self-esteem in the 5 years before retirement and remained stable in self-esteem in the 5 years following retirement. We also found significant individual differences in retirees' self-esteem trajectories but failed to identify moderators that may account for these individual differences...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
David L Roth, Stephanie L Brown, J David Rhodes, William E Haley
Multiple studies have confirmed a seemingly paradoxical finding that family caregivers have lower mortality rates than comparable samples of noncaregivers. Caregivers are often also found to report more symptoms of depression and higher stress levels, but psychological distress and mortality are rarely examined in the same study. This study tests a possible mechanism for the mortality effect by applying a theoretical model that posits psychological and physiological stress-buffering benefits from prosocial helping behaviors...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
Anne J Dutt, Hans-Werner Wahl, Fiona S Rupprecht
Recent evidence suggests that the longitudinal association between subjective aging experiences, that is, the way people perceive and evaluate their aging process, and well-being-related developmental outcomes depends on individual differences. We investigated the moderating role of two processing strategies, that is, mindfulness and negative repetitive thought (RT), for the association between subjective aging experiences and depressive symptoms in middle and old adulthood. Analyses were based on two measurements covering a 4...
June 2018: Psychology and Aging
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