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Learning and adaptation in older adults: an overview of main methods and theories

Tournier, I ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0403-4876 (2020) Learning and adaptation in older adults: an overview of main methods and theories. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. ISSN 2210-6561

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Abstract

The aim of the present article is to offer a broad overview of usual methods and dominant theories in the field, in order to make unfamiliar readers more aware of the current state of the art in this domain and to show how it can support future investigation on learning and adaptation in older adults. As our understanding of the aging process is closely linked to the methods used to investigate it, a first part is devoted to usual methods in this field and their potential limitations. It also highlights the necessity of a deeper involvement of older adults in all steps of research to have a richer understanding of the reality of aging, including social and cultural aspects. The second part presents predominant theories of the field, starting from a biological level (i.e., processing resources) to reach a psychosocial level (i.e., regulation's processes). The benefice of environmental support to aging in place, such as assistive technologies, as well as the wish of older adults to continue to learn new things is discussed in the conclusion.

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