Cognitive Training in the Elderly: The Effect of Cognitive Training on Dispositional Variables and Subjective Well-Being

Jadrana Bekavac, Andrea Vranic

Abstract


Evaluations of cognitive training programs for the elderly usually show marked improvement in cognitive abilities after the training and maintenance effects in a longer period after the training. Some studies find transfer effects to non-trained cognitive tasks. The effect of cognitive training has rarely been tested on non-cognitive variables. This study tested a 10-week memory training based on the hypothesis of metacognitive changes moderating the process of cognitive aging to investigate its effect on dispositional variables (optimism/pessimism, locus of control) and subjective well- -being. Retirement homes residents, randomly assigned to treatment (N = 21) or active control (N = 20) group, participated in this study. Measurement of training-related gains – i.e. changes in non-cognitive measures compared to pretest – was conducted after the training (posttest) and at the 6-month follow-up. Results revealed significant changes in some dispositional variables (optimism, external locus of control) and subjective well-being at the posttest. Although somewhat moderated, a similar pattern of results was found at the follow-up. These results suggest that cognitive training programs, combining strategy learning and metacognitive activities, can improve the quality of life in the elderly, i.e. improvement in optimism, internal locus and subjective well-being, and decline in pessimism and external locus.

Keywords


cognitive aging; memory training; optimisim; locus of control; subjective well-being

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096