papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


Effects of Age on Hearing

Furthermore, hearing deficits can indirectly affect cognitive processes. Listening is more effortful for the older adult with hearing loss and consequently, is more draining of cognitive resources. There is evidence linking hearing loss to impaired physical functioning and psychological difficulties including loneliness and depression.

Those who interact with hearing-impaired elders can benefit from learning ways to communicate that lessen the impact of age-related changes. Modulating one’s tone of voice, particularly for women, so that it is not too high, and avoiding distractions or interference can be important aids to communicating clearly with older adults.


Older adults who overreact to physical changes may experience an unnecessary and potentially harmful sense of discouragement or despair. Conversely, those who deny or minimize the presence of age-related limitations in physical functioning may place themselves at risk due to overexertion or failure to take preventative actions.

Cognitive Processes and Development

Several types of cognition, such as good judgment and sagacity, are postulated to improve with increased age and experience. Wisdom is perhaps the most frequently mentioned cognitive ability of this type, but it has been difficult to investigate because there are no generally accepted definitions of wisdom that are amenable to objective measurements.


Although age-related differences in several different types of cognitive functioning have been well documented, the causes of age declines in cognitive measures are still not well understood. Furthermore, there is still relatively little information available about positive aspects of cognitive aging, such as the influence of specific knowledge that is almost certainly acquired as a function of experience within a domain.

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