Short-term variability in cognitive performance and the calibration of longitudinal change

Timothy A. Salthouse, John R. Nesselroade, Diane Berish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have documented that normal adults exhibit considerable variability in cognitive performance from one occasion to another. We investigated this phenomenon in a study in which 143 adults ranging from 18 to 97 years of age performed different versions of 13 cognitive tests in three separate sessions. Substantial within-person variability was apparent across 13 different cognitive variables, and there were also large individual differences in the magnitude of within-person variability. Because people differ in the amount of short-term variability, we propose that this variability might provide a meaningful basis for calibrating change in longitudinal research. Correlations among the measures of within-person variability were very low, even after we adjusted for reliability, and there was little evidence that increased age was associated with a larger amount of within-person variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

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Calibration
performance
human being
Individuality
Research
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

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Short-term variability in cognitive performance and the calibration of longitudinal change. / Salthouse, Timothy A.; Nesselroade, John R.; Berish, Diane.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol. 61, No. 3, 01.01.2006.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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