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Paul Verhaeghen & John Cerella

In: Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Chapter 8: Everything We Know About Aging and Response Times: A Meta-Analytic Integration

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Everything We Know About Aging and Response Times: A Meta-Analytic Integration
Everything we know about aging and response times: A meta-analytic integration

Older adults take longer to process information than younger adults. It has long been known that the increase in response time (RT) is monotonic with adult age. In a large meta-analysis of studies using continuous age samples, Verhaeghen and Salthouse (1997) reported an age-speed correlation of –.52, and Welford (1977) estimated that each additional year of adult age increases choice reaction time by 1.5 ms. Cerella and Hale (1994) estimated that the average 70-year-old functions at the speed of the average 8-year-old—a large effect.

It also appears that this age-related slowing occurs in a wide variety of tasks, implicating a wide variety of cognitive systems: ...

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