When Brains Change, You Change.
Older should be wiser, better, and more balanced, but alas
- The weaknesses described in this chapter have been referenced earlier, esp. in the notes for Chapters 8 & 12.
- Older individuals confabulate more than do younger ones, in part because they want the story to come out in the over-practiced (expected) way; see, for example, Atalli E, Dalla Barba G (2012) Confabulation in healthy aging is related to poor encoding and retrieval of over-learned information. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn (epub ahead of print). Several recent studies have shown that you remember that others have told you a story much better than you remember that you have told THEM a particular story. See Gopie N, Macleod CM (2009) Destination memory: stop me if I’ve told you this before. Psychol Sci 20:1492.
- I should probably have provided you with an example of one of the most powerful of distorting influences for older individuals: money. I actually DID write about an extraordinarily wealth individual who I know who is a miser in his older age. When it comes to accumulative reward-based distortion, few forces are as powerful as is that filthy lucre.
- Posit Science’s marketing research has repeatedly shown that the older we are, the greater the mis-match between how we’re doing as measured objectively, and how well we would described how we’re doing! Self-monitoring just isn’t as strong or as reliable when we begin to struggle in life. Perhaps this is a natural, protective adjustment! Still, without more accurate self-assessment, why/how could any positive change be expected?