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Title: Age differences in the processing of emotional information
Author: Orgeta, Vasiliki
ISNI:       0000 0001 3459 6197
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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The present PhD examines age-related differences in the processing of emotional information.  Consistent with neuropsychological perspectives of ageing, a number of studies have demonstrated that age exerts a detrimental influence on the ability to recognise facial emotion.  The present PhD presents the results of three individual experimental studies conducted to assess age-related differences in the ability to decode facial affect.  Age-related differences were observed in the ability to label both high and low intensity of specific facial expressions of emotion, which were partly explained by age-related variance in processing speed (Study 1).  Manipulating the number of labels available in an emotion labelling task influenced older adults’ ability to label facial emotion.  Age-related decrements in labelling facial affect were limited to 4- and 6- choice labelling conditions, providing support for the hypothesis that age-related emotion recognition deficits vary as a function of type of task used (Study 2).  Age-related deficits in recognizing facial emotion do not extend beyond tasks that do not require labelling, such as matching facial emotion, providing further support for the hypothesis that they are task specific (Study 3). In line with socio-cognitive perspectives, a number of studies demonstrate that older adults exhibit a tendency to direct their attention away from negative facial expressions.  The present PhD presents data of two individual experimental studies, demonstrating that the effects of age on the selective attention to emotion reflect conscious control (Study 4) and efforts to regulate emotion (Study 5).  Overall the results provide evidence that age-related differences in the processing of emotional information are more likely to be observed when deliberative processes are required.  On the other hand measures of affect that are less demanding are more likely to show a positive trajectory with increasing age.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available