1st Edition

Cognition, Aging and Self-Reports

    432 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    First Published in 1998. This book provides a state-of-the-art overview of age-related changes in cognitive functioning and explores the implications of these changes for the self-report of attitudes and behaviors. The contributors are leading researchers in cognitive aging and survey methodology, and chapters are written to be accessible to non-specialists. The first part of the book provides an authoritative review of the current state of cognitive aging research, covering topics such as working memory, inhibition, autobiographical memory, metacognition, and attention. A second section examines the unique issues associated with aging, language comprehension and interpersonal communication, while the final section reviews researcher into age-related differences in survey responding.

    Of particular interest is how age-related changes in cognitive and communicative 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 behaviors may reflect age-related differences in the response process rather than differences in respondents' actual attitudes or behaviors. Implications for research design and psychological theorizing are addressed, and practical solutions are offered. As such, the book will be of interest not only to those in the fields of cognitive aging 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.

    Aging, Cognition, and Self-reports: Editors' Introduction, Norbert Schwarz, Denise Park, Bärbel Knäuper, and Seymour Sudman. Part A: Cognition and Survey Measurement. Self-reports of Behaviors and Opinions: Cognitive and Communicative Processes, Norbert Schwarz. Part B: Age-related Changes in Cognitive Functioning. Changes in Cognitive Resources, Denise Park. Memory, Aging and Survey Measurement, Fergus I.M. Craik. Aging, Circadian Arousal Patterns, and Cognition, Carolyn Yoon, Cynthia P. May, and Lynn Hasher. Metamemory as Social Cognition: Challenges for (and from) Survey Research, John C. Cavanaugh. Autobiographical Memory and Aging: Distributions of Memories Across the Lifespan and Their Implications for Survey Research, David C. Rubin. The Concept of "Gains" in Cognitive Aging, Roger A. Dixon. Pressing Issues in Cognitive Aging, Timothy A. Salthouse. Part C: Language Comprehension and Communication. Comprehending Spoken Questions: Effects of Cognitive and Sensory Change in Adult Aging, Arthur Wingfield. Aging and Message Production and Comprehension, Susan Kemper and Karen Kemtes. Intergenerational Communication: The Survey Interview as a Social Exchange, Sheree T. Kwong See and Ellen Bouchard Ryan. Part D: Surveying Older Respondents. Asking Survey Respondents About Health Status: Judgement and Response Issues, Susan Schechter, Paul Beatty and Gordon B. Willis. Cognitive Testing of Cognitive Functioning Questions, Diane O'Rourke, Seymour Sudman, Timothy Johnson and Jane Burris. Dynamics of Interviewing and the Quality of Survey Reports: Age Comparisons, Robert F. Belli, Paul S. Weiss and James M. Lepkowski. Cognitive Performance Measures in Survey Research, A. Regula Herzog and Willard L. Rodgers. Age Differences in Question and Response Order Effects, Bärbel Knäuper. Aging and Errors of Measurement: Implications for the Study of Life-Span Development, Duane F. Alwin.


    Norbert Schwarz (Univ. of Michigan University of Georgia at Athens University), Professor of Psychology Denise Park, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) (Edited by) ,  Barbel Knauper (Edited by) ,  Seymour Sudman (University of Illinois Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)