TitleAssociations Between Control Beliefs and Response Time Inconsistency in Older Adults Vary as a Function of Attentional Task Demands.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsCerino, ES, Stawski, RS, Geldhof, GJ, MacDonald, SWS
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published10/2018
ISSN1758-5368
Abstract
 

Objective: Control beliefs are established correlates of cognitive aging. Despite recent demonstrations that response time inconsistency (RTI) represents a proxy for cognitive processing efficiency, few investigations have explored links between RTI and psychosocial correlates. We examined associations among RTI and control beliefs (perceived competence and locus of control) for two choice-response time (RT) tasks varying in their attentional demands.

Method: Control beliefs and RTI were measured weekly for 5 weeks in a sample of 304 community-dwelling older adults (Mage = 74.11 years, SD = 6.05, range = 64-92, 68.58% female).

Results: Multilevel models revealed that for the attentionally demanding task, reporting higher perceived competence than usual was associated with lower RTI for relatively younger participants and greater RTI for relatively older participants. For the less attentionally demanding task, reporting higher perceived competence than usual was associated with lower RTI for relatively older participants. Links between locus of control and RTI were comparatively scant.

Discussion: Our findings suggest that control beliefs may have adaptive and maladaptive influences on RTI, depending on dimension of control beliefs, individual differences in level of control beliefs and age, as well as attentional task demands. Both for whom and when control beliefs can be leveraged to optimize cognitive aging are discussed.

DOI10.1093/geronb/gby124
Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
PubMed ID30452690