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Psychol Aging. 1986 Mar;1(1):55-62.

Cognitive functioning of older people in relation to social and personality variables.

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Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Age differences in performance on memory measures and in subjective ratings of memory adequacy were examined in the context of 12 social, personality, adjustment, and lifestyle measures. Participants were 285 men and women, aged 65 to 93, of middle- and working-class backgrounds. A series of multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that a large proportion of the age differences and virtually all of the social-class differences on memory measures could be accounted for by contextual variables, with education, intellectual activity, extroversion, neuroticism, and lie scores (on the Eysenck Personality Inventory) all accounting for more of the variance in memory performance than did age. Self-rated memory adequacy was not correlated with performance, and although the expected finding of lower ratings by older participants was obtained with the working-class group, the opposite was true for the middle-class group. Implications of these results for understanding age differences in memory are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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