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Title: Expertise and ageing : the crossword-puzzle paradigm
Author: Forshaw, Mark John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 1475
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1994
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Crossword puzzle solving was used as an example of cognitive expertise, to examine the effects of age and fluid and crystallized intelligence on ability to perform practised skills. Tasks based on the component processeso f crossword puzzle solving were given to a set of elderly people aged between 58 and 77 years, who were also tested on ability to solve crossword clues. It was assumed that crossword solving expertise could lie in a number of areas, such as efficiency of lexical access, orthographic knowledge, vocabulary and knowledge of task-specific rules. Various aspects of these were tested in terms of ability to search for answers (generate words) or check answers (compare words on a given criterion). It was found that, generally, those tasks which involved a generative process were those which correlated most highly with crossword solving expertise, suggesting that the checking of answers was of negligible importance. Age did not correlate with performance on most of the crossword component tasks, implying that as people become expert at solving problems, their ability to solve them becomes independent of the general age-related declines in information processing capacity and the slowing of the central nervous system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available