Aging of attention: Does the ability to divide decline?
- 370 Downloads
Previous research has yielded conflicting results regarding the relationship between adult age and the ability to divide attention between two concurrent tasks. At least some of the inconsistency is probably attributable to methodological variations, such as the manner in which divided-attention ability has been assessed, how single-task performance has been considered, and the degree of control over relative emphasis placed on each task. Two experiments employing procedures sensitive to these concerns were conducted in which a speeded decision task was performed during the retention interval of a letter-memory task. The results of both experiments indicated that there were relatively few age-related influences on dual-task performance vis-à-vis those on single-task performance.
KeywordsConcurrent Task Arithmetic Task Speed Index Letter Comparison Concurrent Memory Load
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Baddeley, A. (1986).Working memory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Baron, A., Myerson, J., &Hale, S. (1988). An integrated analysis of the structure and function of behavior: Aging and the cost of dividing attention. In G. Davey & C. Cullen (Eds.),Human operant conditioning and behavior modification (pp. 139–166). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Brouwer, W., Ickenroth, J., Ponds, R., &van Wolffelaar, P. (1990). Divided attention in old age: Difficulty in integrating skills. In P. J. D. Drenth, J. A. Sergeant, & R. J. Takens (Eds.),European perspectives in psychology (Vol. 2, pp. 335–347). Chichester, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Korteling, J. E. (1993). Effects of age and task similarity on dual-task performance.Human Factors,33, 99–113.Google Scholar
- Park, D. C., Smith, A. D., Dudley, W. N., &Lafronza, V. N. (1989). Effects of age and a divided attention task presented during encoding and retrieval on memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,15, 1185–1191.Google Scholar
- Salthouse, T. A. (1992a).Mechanisms of age-cognition relations in adulthood. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Somberg, B. L., &Salthouse, T. A. (1982). Divided attention abilities in young and old adults.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,8, 651–663.Google Scholar
- Wickens, C. D. (1984). Processing resources in attention. In R. Parasuraman & D. R. Davies (Eds.),Varieties of attention (pp. 63–102). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar