Promoting active and successful aging has become crucial to improve quality of life in later adulthood and reduce the impact of cognitive decline. Increasing evidence suggested that the ability to think creatively (e.g., via divergent thinking), similar to cognitive reserve, could represent a beneficial factor against the negative effects of aging. However, there is still little evidence investigating the relationships between divergent thinking, cognitive functions, and cognitive reserve in late adulthood. The present study explored these relationships in a sample of 98 individuals ranging from 61 to 88 years old (mean age: 72.44 ± 6.35). Results showed that visual, but not verbal, divergent thinking was affected by aging. Interestingly, visual divergent thinking performance was predicted by both the cognitive component of crystallized intelligence and cognitive reserve. Only the crystallized component of intelligence was found to mediate the aging effect on visual divergent thinking performance. These results suggest that in later adulthood a potential shift strategy to prior knowledge and semantic components over executive and control components of cognition could underlie a preserved ability to think divergently and, plausibly, creatively. Limitations of the study and implications for successful aging are discussed.

The Role of Cognition in Divergent Thinking: Implications for Successful Aging

Palmiero M.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Promoting active and successful aging has become crucial to improve quality of life in later adulthood and reduce the impact of cognitive decline. Increasing evidence suggested that the ability to think creatively (e.g., via divergent thinking), similar to cognitive reserve, could represent a beneficial factor against the negative effects of aging. However, there is still little evidence investigating the relationships between divergent thinking, cognitive functions, and cognitive reserve in late adulthood. The present study explored these relationships in a sample of 98 individuals ranging from 61 to 88 years old (mean age: 72.44 ± 6.35). Results showed that visual, but not verbal, divergent thinking was affected by aging. Interestingly, visual divergent thinking performance was predicted by both the cognitive component of crystallized intelligence and cognitive reserve. Only the crystallized component of intelligence was found to mediate the aging effect on visual divergent thinking performance. These results suggest that in later adulthood a potential shift strategy to prior knowledge and semantic components over executive and control components of cognition could underlie a preserved ability to think divergently and, plausibly, creatively. Limitations of the study and implications for successful aging are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11575/141654
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