Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly

Self-efficacy and Verbal Fluency — Does Age Play a Role?

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Healthy Aging & Clinical Care in the Elderly 2014:6 17-24

Original Research

Published on 16 Mar 2014

DOI: 10.4137/HACCE.S14292

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Self-efficacy refers to the beliefs that one possesses about his/her ability to achieve specific targets in a certain context. It is one of the important aspects of metacognitive processes. There are emerging evidences that most of the cognitive processes decline with age but the kind of trajectory metacognitive ability, like self-efficacy, follows as a function of age is yet researchable. The present study aimed at assessing how self-efficacy related to one’s ability on the cognitive process of verbal fluency changes with age. For this purpose, three groups with 12 participants in each group ie the young adults, middle-aged adults, and old-aged adults were subjected to letter fluency (LF)-flexibility and category fluency (CF)-flexibility tasks. In addition to performing the tasks, the participants of all groups did a pre-task prediction and a post-task judgment of their respective performances. The differences between predictions, judgments, and actual performances of all subjects were subjected to repeated measure ANOVA and post hoc paired T-test for each group. The results obtained revealed that the verbal fluency performance declined with the age. However, the self-efficacy for verbal fluency, measured by predictions and judgments, revealed that as the individuals grow old, they seem to become more aware of their limited performances. These results open the scope of studying metacognitive processes like self-efficacy on larger samples and variety of cognitive processes that may be significant for cognitive communicative assessment and intervention.




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