This text provides an overview of age-related changes in cognitive functioning and explores the implications of these changes for the self- report of attitudes and behaviours. The contributors are researchers in cognitive ageing and survey methodology, and chapters are written to be accessible to non-specialists. The first part of the book provides a review of late 1990s cognitive ageing research, covering topics such as working memory, inhibition, autobiographical memory, metacognition and attention. A second section examines issues associated with ageing, language comprehension and interpersonal communication, while the final reviews research into age-related differences in survey responding.; Of particular interest is how age-related changes in cognitive and communiticative functioning influence the question-answering process in research situations. Experimental research illustrates that older and younger respondents are differentially affected by question order, question wording and other features of questionnaire design. As a result, many age-related differences in reported attitudes and behaviours may reflect age-related differences in the response process rather than differences in respondents' actual attitudes or behaviours. Implications for research design and psychological theorizing are addressed, and practical solutions are offered. As such, the book should be of interest not only to those in the fields of cognitive ageing and gerontology, but also to survey methodologists and researchers in public opinion, marketing, and related fields, who rely on respondents' answers to questions in their research.
- Publication Date:
- 28 / 09 / 1998