Older Adults’ Feelings Toward Aging May Be Linked to Memory, Hearing Performance The way people view getting older may affect their hearing and memory abilities, finds new research from the University of Toronto. Alison Chasteen—professor in the university’s Department of Psychology and lead author of the study, published in Psychology and Aging—and her team evaluated 301 adults ages 56–96 in three areas: ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   March 01, 2016
Older Adults’ Feelings Toward Aging May Be Linked to Memory, Hearing Performance
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Hearing & Speech Perception / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   March 01, 2016
Older Adults’ Feelings Toward Aging May Be Linked to Memory, Hearing Performance
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.21032016.10
The ASHA Leader, March 2016, Vol. 21, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.21032016.10
The way people view getting older may affect their hearing and memory abilities, finds new research from the University of Toronto.
Alison Chasteen—professor in the university’s Department of Psychology and lead author of the study, published in Psychology and Aging—and her team evaluated 301 adults ages 56–96 in three areas: their attitudes toward aging, self-perceptions of their abilities to hear and remember, and their actual abilities in those areas.
“Those who held negative views about getting older and believed they had challenges with their abilities to hear and remember things also did poorly on the hearing and memory tests,” Chasteen says, though she notes that not all adults who have poor hearing and memory have negative views on aging. “It’s not that negative views on aging cause poor performance in some functions—there is simply a strong correlation between the two when a negative view impacts an individual’s confidence in the ability to function.”

“Those who held negative views about getting older and believed they had challenges with their abilities to hear and remember things also did poorly on the hearing and memory tests.”

The researchers tested participants’ views on aging by asking them to rate their concerns in 15 scenarios. The participants also responded affirmatively or negatively to statements—such as “I am good at remembering names”—that demonstrated their perceptions about their hearing and memory. A third set of evaluations, including word-recall exercises and standard hearing tests, measured their actual abilities.
“People’s feelings about getting older influence their sensory and cognitive functions,” Chasteen says. “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.”
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March 2016
Volume 21, Issue 3