Aging and Skilled Performance
The term "skill" encompasses an array of topics and issues. For example, individuals are skilled in a variety of domains such as chess, typing, air traffic control, or knitting; researchers study skill in a variety of ways, including speed of acquisition, accuracy of performance, and retention over time; and there are a variety of approaches to the study of skill such as computer modeling or experimental analysis. Contributing to the understanding of whether, how, when, and why skills may decline as a function of age is the goal of this volume.
This book is based on the Aging and Skill Conference sponsored by the Center for Applied Cognitive Research on Aging. The broad focus of the conference was to discuss cognitive theories underlying age-related skill acquisition, transfer, and retention and to discuss applications of these theories to such issues as age-adaptive training, compensatory strategies and devices, and utilization of new and existing technology. The contributors were asked to discuss the cognitive theory relevant to their topic, explain how the theory informs the field about aging, examine where gaps exist among general cognitive theory in this area and theories of aging, and demonstrate the practical relevance of the theory to enhancing or enabling activities of daily living--for work, home, or leisure--for older adults.
This is the first book to focus exclusively on aging and skill. It covers a range of abilities, provides the theoretical basis for the current status of age-related differences in skill, and offers direct evidence of the applicability of research on proficiency to aspects of daily living. Each chapter was written either by an expert in the field of aging, or by an expert in the field of skill--many expert in both areas.