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Exp Aging Res. 2010 Apr;36(2):230-47. doi: 10.1080/03610731003613938.

Everyday challenges in context: the influence of contextual factors on everyday problem solving among young, middle-aged, and older adults.

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Department of Psychology, Baruch College-City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY 10010, USA.


The authors examined the experimental effects of social context on everyday problem-solving performance by older, middle-aged, and younger adults. Participants were presented with six everyday problems constructed by framing two behavioral challenges in social contexts representative of the lives of older, middle-aged, and younger adults. As predicted, participants performed best when problems were situated in contexts representative of their own age group. Older adults also outperformed the other age groups on problems set in older adult contexts, suggesting that when problems are set in ecologically relevant contexts, one may not observe previously reported age-related declines in performance.

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