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Baltes, Paul B. ; Sowarka, Doris ; Kliegl, Reinhold
Cognitive training research on fluid intelligence in old age : what can older adults achieve by themselves?
Kurzfassung auf EnglischCognitive research on the plasticity of fluid intelligence has demonstrated that older adults benefit markedly from guided practice in cognitive skills and problem-solving strategies. We examined to what degree older adults are capable by themselves of achieving similar practice gains, focusing on the fluid ability of figural relations. A sample of 72 healthy older adults was assigned randomly to three conditions: control, tutor-guided training, self-guided training. Training time and training materials were held constant for the two training conditions. Posttraining performances were analyzed using a transfer of training paradigm in terms of three indicators: correct responses, accuracy, and level of item difficulty. The training programs were effective and produced a significant but narrow band of within-ability transfer. However, there was no difference between the two training groups. Older adults were shown to be capable of producing gains by themselves that were comparable to those obtained following tutor-guided training in the nature of test-relevant cognitive skills.
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