Future thinking: does episodic foresight decline in late adulthood?

Lyons, Amanda (2012). Future thinking: does episodic foresight decline in late adulthood? Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Lyons, Amanda
Thesis Title Future thinking: does episodic foresight decline in late adulthood?
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-15
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Julie Henry
Total pages 109
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Much of our behaviour in the present is based on our memory for the past and our imagination of the future. Researchers argue that this capacity for mental time-travel underlies how we plan both daily and distant activities. There is now preliminary evidence showing that this capacity might be subject to some decline in late adulthood. However, no study to date has assessed whether the capacity for episodic foresight specifically is affected. Episodic foresight refers to the ability to identify a problem, foresee possible situations, and predict what may be necessary to secure a future solution. To date, the only empirical assessments of episodic foresight have focused on how this capacity develops during childhood. Part 1 of the present study therefore involved first developing a novel task that would be suitable for adult populations, with the key task parameters validated in an on-line study involving younger (N = 51) and older (N = 53) adults. In Part 2, this novel paradigm was then administered to 30 younger and 35 older adults in an experimental study that also investigated other cognitive abilities known to be theoretically linked to the capacity for episodic foresight, such as prospective memory. The results provide novel insights into how the capacity for episodic foresight is affected in late adulthood, as well as how it is related to other cognitive abilities known to be disrupted in normal adult ageing.
Keyword Future thinking
Episodic foresight
Late adulthood decline

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Created: Thu, 07 Mar 2013, 09:46:48 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology