Age effects in problem solving in relation to irrelevant information, dimensional preferences, and feedback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Forty middle-aged (M age = 41.62 years) and forty elderly (M age = 72.22 years) women solved matrix problems that varied according to levels of irrelevant information and dimensional preferences. One-half of the women within each age group received corrective verbal feedback while solving the problems. Increasing levels of irrelevant information affected processing times and accuracy scores for both age groups, but middle-aged were significantly faster and more accurate than elderly. There was also evidence for the effects of dimensional preferences. On multidimensional matrix problems subjects made more errors by processing only a most preferred rather than only a least-preferred stimulus dimension. Feedback improved matrix performance, although its effects on the accuracy scores of the elderly were attenuated by the presence of less preferred dimensions. The findings were discussed in terms of an age-related, selective-attention deficit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-403
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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