ERIC Number: EJ1088859
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Divergent Task Performance in Older Adults: Declarative Memory or Creative Potential?
Leon, Susan A.; Altmann, Lori J. P.; Abrams, Lise; Gonzalez Rothi, Leslie J.; Heilman, Kenneth M.
Creativity Research Journal, v26 n1 p21-29 2014
Divergent thinking is a process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions or responses, and is a critical element of creativity. Lesion and imaging studies have shown that the frontal lobes are important in mediating divergent thinking, and frontal lobe function is highly dependent on white matter connections with subcortical and cortical networks. Normal aging often results in deficits in functions controlled by the frontal lobes, as well as decrements in white-matter connectivity. Objectives of this study included comparing non-time-constrained tasks of verbal divergent processing in young adults (YAs) and older adults (OAs) and correlating performance with tasks of working memory, language ability, and disengagement/inhibition. Participants were 30 YAs and 30 OAs. Contrary to the a priori hypothesis, OAs produced significantly more unique responses than YAs, although total fluency was not significantly different. Correlational analyses examining the groups together and separately revealed a number of differences suggesting that the groups were utilizing different underlying cognitive abilities to complete these tasks. Future studies are needed to test the hypothesis that the primary factor resulting in higher uniqueness scores for the OAs was a greater wealth of experiences, including in the use of language.
Descriptors: Older Adults, Creative Thinking, Comparative Analysis, Young Adults, Correlation, Short Term Memory, Language Proficiency, Inhibition, Cognitive Ability, Age Differences, Intelligence Tests, Adults, Multivariate Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A