Objective: Recently, motivation has been found to attenuate the age-related decline in Theory of Mind (ToM) performance (i.e. faux pas recognition). However, whether or not this effect could be generalized to other ToM tasks is still unknown. In the present study, we investigated whether and how motivation could enhance older adults’ performance and reduce age differences in ToM tasks (Faux Pas vs. Animation task) that differ in familiarity. Method: Following a previous paradigm, 171 Chinese adults (87 younger adults and 84 older adults) were recruited, and we experimentally manipulated the level of perceived closeness between participants and the experimenter before administering the ToM tasks in order to enhance participants’ motivation. Results: Results showed that, for the Faux Pas task, we replicated previous findings such that older adults under the enhanced motivation conditions performed equally well as younger adults. Conversely, for the Animation task, younger adults outperformed older adults, regardless of motivation. Discussion: These results indicate that motivation can enhance older adults’ performance in ToM tasks, however, this beneficial effect cannot be generalized across ToM tasks.

Plasticity in older adults’ theory of mind performance: the impact of motivation

Ceccato I.;
2018

Abstract

Objective: Recently, motivation has been found to attenuate the age-related decline in Theory of Mind (ToM) performance (i.e. faux pas recognition). However, whether or not this effect could be generalized to other ToM tasks is still unknown. In the present study, we investigated whether and how motivation could enhance older adults’ performance and reduce age differences in ToM tasks (Faux Pas vs. Animation task) that differ in familiarity. Method: Following a previous paradigm, 171 Chinese adults (87 younger adults and 84 older adults) were recruited, and we experimentally manipulated the level of perceived closeness between participants and the experimenter before administering the ToM tasks in order to enhance participants’ motivation. Results: Results showed that, for the Faux Pas task, we replicated previous findings such that older adults under the enhanced motivation conditions performed equally well as younger adults. Conversely, for the Animation task, younger adults outperformed older adults, regardless of motivation. Discussion: These results indicate that motivation can enhance older adults’ performance in ToM tasks, however, this beneficial effect cannot be generalized across ToM tasks.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Plasticity in older adults theory of mind performance the impact of motivation.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Descrizione: Article
Tipologia: PDF editoriale
Dimensione 642.46 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
642.46 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/723106
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus 9
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 6
social impact