Older adults’ performance decrements can sometime be traced back to inferior strategic choices compared to their younger counterparts. Additionally, older adults often fail to revise their strategic choices with task experience (Bieman-Copland & Charness, 1994; Brigham & Pressley, 1988; Lovett & Schunn, 1999; Price, Dunlosky, & Hertzog, 2008; Touron & Hertzog, 2004a, 2004b; Touron, Hoyer, & Cerella, 2004). Metacognitive models of strategy selection suggests that beliefs, prior knowledge, goals, and task representation influence strategic decisions (e.g., Winne & Hadwin, 1998). No studies to date have attempted to compare task representation in older and younger adults to determine whether older adults’ poor strategic choices might be driven by an impoverished understanding of the tasks they are asked to engage in. In two studies we used a pathfinder methodology to elicit conceptual knowledge about a novel chemistry task. In both studies, more conceptual knowledge was related to superior task performance in both younger and older adults. However, we found no evidence of age-related deficits in task representation, formation, or utilization. Surprisingly, participants’ task representation scores did not improve following task practice. However, performance improved over trials, even for items that had to be learned with task practice, suggesting that task representation updating did occur. These findings provide indirect evidence of task representation updating in both younger and older adults. However, no age deficits in the ability to update task representations were found. Exploratory analyses suggest that performance in younger adults was related to motivational issues, whereas performance in older adults was driven by higher levels of processing speed and crystallized intelligence.
|Advisor:||Touron, Dayna R.|
|Commitee:||Delaney, Peter F., Kane, Michael J., Vrshek-Schallhorn, Suzanne|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Greensboro|
|Department:||College of Arts & Sciences: Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Aging, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Aging, Decision making, Mental models, Strategies, Task representation updating|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be