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Martin, Mike; Hofer, S M (2004). Intraindividual variability, change, and aging: conceptual and analytical issues. Gerontology, 50(1):7-11.

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Background: Developmental researchers use a variety of research designs to examine agingrelated
changes. Most longitudinal studies of aging are based on research designs that feature
successive, widely-spaced, assessments to estimate changes in cognitive performance. Such
designs assume that short-term variations in cognitive performance are small relative to longterm
changes or have modeled such phenomena as nuisance parameters. Objective: There is
now sufficient empirical evidence to establish intraindividual cognitive variability as a
systematic source of individual differences and of important predictive value for agingrelevant
outcomes. Methods: After an overview of types of change, potential underlying
processes, and adequate analytic designs, we discuss consequences for lifespan aging
research. Results: We emphasize that interpretations of both cross-sectional and longitudinal
results need to consider and specify theoretical assumptions about short-term and long-term
changes. Conclusions: Above and beyond the analysis of long-term mean changes, short-term
changes are an important aspect of aging-related change, and their analysis may help to
explain psychological processes of adaptation.


59 citations in Web of Science®
55 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:28
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher DOI:10.1159/000074382

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