Enhance Cognition to Bring Change in Personality

Recommend to others!

A program was been designed to boost cognition in older adults. This increased their openness to new experiences. Research report says that for the first time a non-drug intervention in older adults changed their personality trait which was thought to be fixed all through the life span. Openness to experience is considered to be “one of the five major traits of personality” by the personality psychologist. The other four traits agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism and conscientiousness are considered to operate independently of an individual’s cognitive abilities. A new study which got published in the Psychology and Aging, gave some older adults few problem solving tasks, puzzles and a series of pattern recognition which they could execute at home.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, Aging results in normal changes in cognition. Three specific changes are reduced processing speed, greater tendency to be distracted, and reduced capacity to process and remember new information at the same time—which is called “working memory.” The nature of these changes often leads to negative stereotypes about older adults, but in fact the changes are expected and are not signs of “cognitive impairment.” Nevertheless, fast presentation of materials, frequent change of focus, and a background of distractions and intrusions will reduce understanding and recall of information for older persons.

The age of participants ranged from 60-94 years and they worked at their own pace. Elizabeth Stine Morrow, professor at University of Illinois Educational psychology says, that their research team wanted the participants to feel brave rather than feeling overwhelmed. They say that they never wanted the test to be that way but the emerging confidence in the reasoning aptitude of the older adults enabled greater enjoyment of rational challenging as well as imaginative endeavors. Researchers then tested the cognitive aptitudes and personality traits of 183 older adults just few weeks before as well as after the intervention.

The team noticed that those participants who were engaged in the session of training and practice showed much progress in their problem solving skills and pattern recognition. The participants who demonstrated progress in these inductive reasoning skills also showed a moderate but imperative increase in openness. This research also challenged the assumption that personality of human beings does not change or alter once it has reached adulthood. There are number of models which prove functionally that personality of human beings does not change after the age of 20 or 30. Once you have reached the adulthood age, you are who you are and will be that way. There might be truth to some extent but the new study proves that personality traits can change with cognition.




Speak Your Mind


Current day month ye@r *