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At the Intersection of Emotion and Cognition: Aging and the Positivity Effect

Laura L. Carstensen and Joseph A. Mikels
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 14, No. 3 (Jun., 2005), pp. 117-121
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20183003
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
At the Intersection of Emotion and Cognition: Aging and the Positivity Effect
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Abstract

Divergent trajectories characterize the aging mind: Processing capacity declines, while judgment, knowledge, and emotion regulation are relatively spared. We maintain that these different developmental trajectories have implications for emotion-cognition interactions. Following an overview of our theoretical position, we review empirical studies indicating that (a) older adults evidence superior cognitive performance for emotional relative to non-emotional information, (b) age differences are most evident when the emotional content is positively as opposed to negatively valenced, and (c) differences can be accounted for by changes in motivation posited in socioemotional selectivity theory.

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