Navigation Links
Enhancing cognition in older adults also changes personality

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. A program designed to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to new experiences, researchers report, demonstrating for the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults can change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan.

Personality psychologists describe openness as one of five major personality traits. Studies suggest that the other four traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and extraversion) operate independently of a person's cognitive abilities. But openness being flexible and creative, embracing new ideas and taking on challenging intellectual or cultural pursuits does appear to be correlated with cognitive abilities.

The new study, published in the journal Psychology and Aging, gave older adults a series of pattern-recognition and problem-solving tasks and puzzles that they could perform at home. Participants ranged in age from 60 to 94 years and worked at their own pace, getting more challenging tasks each week when they came to the lab to return materials.

"We wanted participants to feel challenged but not overwhelmed," said University of Illinois educational psychology and Beckman Institute professor Elizabeth Stine-Morrow, who led the research. "While we didn't explicitly test this, we suspect that the training program adapted in difficulty in sync with skill development was important in leading to increased openness. Growing confidence in their reasoning abilities possibly enabled greater enjoyment of intellectually challenging and creative endeavors."

Researchers tested the cognitive abilities and personality traits of 183 participants and a control group of 131 older adults a few weeks before and after the intervention.

At the end of the program, those who had engaged in the training and practice sessions saw improvement in their pattern-recognition and problem-solving skills, while those in the control group did not. And those who improved in these inductive reasoning skills also demonstrated a moderate but significant increase in openness.

This study challenges the assumption that personality doesn't change once one reaches adulthood, said Illinois psychology professor and study co-author Brent Roberts.

"There are certain models that say, functionally, personality doesn't change after age 20 or age 30. You reach adulthood and pretty much you are who you are," he said. "There's some truth to that at some level. But here you have a study that has successfully changed personality traits in a set of individuals who are (on average) 75. And that opens up a whole bunch of wonderful issues to think about."

Contact: Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related medicine news :

1. Women advised to avoid ZEN bust-enhancing supplements because of possible cancer risk
2. Elsevier launches Methods Navigator, enhancing access to research methods
3. UCI researchers find novel memory-enhancing mechanism in brain
4. Nutrition rating enhancing front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols: Phase 1
5. Elseviers BrainNavigator 3.0 reflects the next step in enhancing neurological research
6. Mount Sinai discovers bone marrow plays critical role in enhancing immune response to viruses
7. Cymetrix Board Member Recognized for Enhancing the Growth and Operations of the Companies He Advises
8. Enhancing arrest of cell growth to treat cancer in mice
9. Visual language, cognition and deaf education topics of summit
10. Understanding people, spaces and spatial cognition
11. Kessler Foundation scientists awarded grants to study cognition in MS
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Enhancing cognition in older adults also changes personality
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Using a combination of two ... American children and adults, according to a new study by researchers at the School ... in Children and Adults: Using Combinations of Blood Glucose Tests ,” published in Frontiers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... The recently published 32nd Annual Report ... reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison center about every 11 seconds. ... were human exposure cases. , The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Specialty Ingredients (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products ... markets in the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... announced at the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, being held ... 60% growth from 2014. Throughout 2015, the company has completed installations for ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Kreithen”), one of the leading plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to ... to consult for surgical innovations giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN ) and ... today jointly announced a new integrated set of clinical ... College of Radiology,s (ACR) Imaging 3.0™ tools to enable ... current and emerging value-based payment models . ... clinical decision support, radiology reporting and image sharing technology ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... HYDERABAD, India , Nov. 30, 2015 Varian Medical ... (MoU) to develop an educational partnership with Apollo Hospitals Group, the ... a program that will help train radiation technologists in the country. ... executive officer of Apollo Knowledge, and Ashok Kakkar , Varian,s ... . India , Varian intends ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Belgium , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx ... on developing blood-based diagnostic tests for a broad range of ... present at the LD Micro Conference, which will be held ... Attending from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil ... , Vice President of Investor Relations. ® ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: