Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Baird, Anne (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology, Clinical Neuropsychology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

In this study, I examined intradindividual variability and time of day effects on verbal fluency and on the relationship of these short-term fluctuations to cognitive aging. Younger and older adults were equally consistent across four testing sessions in terms of total words produced, number of errors, mean cluster size, and number of switches. They also showed comparable dispersion of performance within the task. An age related shift in time of day in self-reported preference was found, and it was associated with performance on category fluency (older adults performed better in the morning, whereas younger adults performed better in the evening). The results of this study suggest that it is important to note time of day when testing clients or research participants in different age groups, because age differences in verbal fluency are likely to be exaggerated when individuals from different age groups are tested during their non-optimal time of day.

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