From Science Daily:
A study led by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that when older adults feel negatively about aging, they may lack confidence in their abilities to hear and remember things, and perform poorly at both.
“People’s feelings about getting older influence their sensory and cognitive functions,” said Alison Chasteen, professor in U of T’s Department of Psychology and lead author of the study published in Psychology and Aging. “Those feelings are often rooted in stereotypes about getting older and comments made by those around them that their hearing and memory are failing. So, we need to take a deeper and broader approach to understanding the factors that influence their daily lives.”
In the study, the researchers examined three variables — views on aging, self-perceptions of one’s abilities to hear and remember, and one’s actual performance of both functions — to uncover connections between them. It marks the first time all three factors were studied together using the same group of subjects.
A sample of 301 adults between the ages of 56 and 96 completed standard hearing tests to determine their ability to hear. These were followed by a series of recall tasks to test their memory. Subjects viewed a list of 15 words on a computer screen and listened to a different list of words on headphones. They then wrote down as many words as they could recall. A third test required them to listen to and repeat a list of five words, and then recall them after a…