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Lifespan CognitionMechanisms of Change$
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Ellen Bialystok and Fergus I. M. Craik

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169539.001.0001

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Aging of Thought

Aging of Thought

Chapter:
(p.274) 19 Aging of Thought
Source:
Lifespan Cognition
Author(s):

Timothy A. Salthouse

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169539.003.0019

A major weakness of the contemporary literature on aging and cognition, and likely also in the literature on cognitive development, is the very limited understanding of the relations between age and knowledge, and of the impact of relevant knowledge on functioning in cognitively demanding activities inside and outside of the psychological laboratory. Thinking can be defined as the application of reasoning and other cognitive processes to one's available knowledge to achieve some goal. This chapter examines the relations between adult age and performance on two activities involving thinking. One task is based on the analytical reasoning test formerly used in the Graduate Record Examination to supplement assessments of quantitative ability and verbal ability. The other activity consists of solving difficult crossword puzzles such as those found in newspapers. This chapter also presents a brief summary of the research literature on adult age differences in processing efficiency, or what is known as organic capacities.

Keywords:   thinking, aging, reasoning, knowledge, verbal ability, crossword puzzles, age differences, cognitive processes, processing efficiency, organic capacities

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