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Lindenberger, Ulman ; Mayr, Ulrich ; Kliegl, Reinhold
Speed and intelligence in old age
Kurzfassung auf EnglischPast research suggests that age differences in measures of cognitive speed contribute to differences in intellectual functioning between young and old adults. To investigate whether speed also predicts age-related differences in intellectual performance beyond age 70 years, tests indicating 5 intellectual abilities—speed, reasoning, memory, knowledge, and fluency—were administered to a close-to-representative, age-stratified sample of old and very old adults. Age trends of all 5 abilities were well described by a negative linear function. The speed-mediated effect of age fully explained the relationship between age and both the common and the specific variance of the other 4 abilities. Results offer strong support for the speed hypothesis of old age cognitive decline but need to be qualified by further research on the reasons underlying age differences in measures of speed.
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