ERIC Number: ED228441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-14
Reference Count: 0
An Analysis and Evaluation of Research in Cognition and Learning among Older Adults.
Wass, Hannelore; Olejnik, Stephen F.
The research literature on aging was reviewed to determine findings with direct implications for educational programs for older persons and findings with no direct application but that raise further research questions. The focus was on cognition and learning in later life, predominantly on work published during the past two decades in major professional journals and psychological handbooks on aging or on developmental psychology. Research studies showed age-related cognitive declines. Problems with the studies that investigated cognitive abilities were the research design, the relevance of the tasks that participants were asked to perform, and the emphasis placed on speed in performance-related research. The research literature did not provide a clear answer regarding a decline in learning or remembering information provided through a written prose format. Serious methodological problems limiting the generalizability of the laboratory research were the relevance of the research task, the method used to assess learning and memory, and the readability level of the learning passage versus the participants' reading levels. Overall, the generalizability of the research was extremely limited. It was suggested that laboratory research on cognition and learning be followed by field research assessing learning abilities and cognitive function in the actual educational setting. (YLB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, Montreal, Canada, April 14, 1983).