Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Older adults have a broader attention span

An article by Reistad-Long describes studies suggesting that a broader attention span may enable older adults to ultimately know more about a situation and the indirect message of what’s going on than their younger peers. For example, older people take longer to read passages that are interrupted with unexpected words or phrases, but are more likely to be successful at answering questions for which the out-of-place words might be answers. This might yield advantages in the real world, where it is not always clear what information is important, or will become important. Maybe we think of older people as wiser because they take in more information from a situation, and are able to combine it with a comparatively greater store of general knowledge.

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