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Dirk, Judith; Schmiedek, Florian:

Processing speed

In: Krauss Whitbourne, Susan; Sliwinski, Martin (Hrsg.): The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of adulthood and aging Hoboken : Wiley-Blackwell (2012) , 135-153


Document type
4. Beiträge in Sammelwerken; Sammelband (keine besondere Kategorie)

Alter, Altern, Arbeitsgedächtnis, Differenzierung, Gedächtnis, Individualität, Kognitive Entwicklung, Kognitive Kompetenz, Kognitive Prozesse, Leistungsfähigkeit, Methode, Modell, Psychometrie, Senior

The authors present and discuss theoretical approaches that treat cognitive slowing itself as an explanatory construct for age-related declines in other cognitive abilities, like fluid intelligence. These attempts will be criticized for three major reasons: (a) processing speed not being a unitary construct, (b) cognitive slowing not being a homogenous phenomenon, and (c) methodological issues with statistical approaches to establish the causal role of processing speed for the aging of other cognitive abilities. The authors continue by introducing age differences in intraindividual variability in RT's, or more generally shapes of RT distributions, as additional aspects beyond mean RT's to be accounted for by theories of cognitive slowing, and show how an approach based on models from mathematical psychology, the diffusion model [...], can be used to express individual and age differences in terms of meaningful processing parameters. The authors close with reviewing theoretical approaches to explain the neurobiological changes underlying cognitive slowing and attempts to improve processing speed with practice and training.

Education and Human Development