The ability to maintain the separation between positive emotion and negative emotion in times of stress has been construed as a resilience mechanism. Emotional resiliency is particularly relevant in old age given concomitant declines in cognitive performance. In the present study, the authors examined the dynamical linkages among positive emotion, negative emotion, and cognition as individuals performed a complex cognitive task. Comparisons were made between younger (n = 63) and older (n = 52) age groups. Older adults manifested significant unidirectional coupling from negative emotion to cognitive performance; younger adults manifested significant unidirectional coupling from negative emotion to positive emotion and from cognitive performance to both positive and negative emotions. Implications for age differences in emotion regulatory strategies are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology