Document Detail

Linking Process and Outcome in the Study of Emotion and Aging.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22888369     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Current theory and research on emotion and aging suggests that (1) older adults report more positive affective experience (more happiness) than younger adults; (2) older adults attend to and remember emotionally-valenced stimuli differently than younger adults (i.e., they show age-related positivity effects in attention and memory); and (3) the reason that older adults have more positive affective experience is because the positivity effects they display serve as emotion regulatory strategies. It is suggested that age differences in cognitive processes therefore lead to the outcome of positive affective experience. In this paper, we critically review the literature on age differences in positive affective experience and on age-related positivity effects in attention and memory. Furthermore, we question the extent to which existing evidence supports a link between age-related positivity effects and positive affective outcomes. We then provide a framework for formally testing process-outcome links that might explain affective outcomes across adulthood. It may be that older adults (and others) do sometimes use their cognition as a regulatory tool to help them feel good, but that can only be demonstrated by specifically linking cognitive processes, such as age-related positivity effects, with affective outcomes. These concepts have implications for cognition-emotion links at any age.
Derek M Isaacowitz; Fredda Blanchard-Fields
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Publication Detail:
Journal Detail:
Title:  Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1745-6924     ISO Abbreviation:  Perspect Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101274347     Medline TA:  Perspect Psychol Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  3-17     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
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