Do values placed on cognative abilities shift with age?

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Do values placed on cognative abilities shift with age?

Despite age-associated decreases in cognitive and physical abilities age is not associated with a decrease in ratings of well-being; this phenomenon is termed the ‘paradox of well-being.’ One potential explanation for this paradox may be that older adults place less value on cognitive abilities that have been shown to decrease with age (e.g. memory) and more value on cognitive abilities shown to increase with age (e.g. knowledge). Using online methods 358 individuals between the ages of 18 and 88 completed a survey assessing the values placed on everyday cognitive abilities self-ratings for those same abilities and life satisfaction. Results indicated that there were minimal age-related differences in values placed on everyday cognitive abilities and that values generally did not moderate the relationship between perceptions of cognitive functioning and life satisfaction. Of note values placed on cognition significantly predicted life satisfaction in younger adults but not in middle-aged and older adults.

Citation: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology Vol. 7, No. 2, 2012, 144–154

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