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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Although studies indicate that aging impacts a number of cognitive abilities, this research has largely been confined to Western samples. This chapter reviews the budding literature on cross-cultural differences in cognitive aging. Although cultures largely converge in the effects of aging on basic processes including speed, working memory, and cortical thinning, some aspects of memory appear to differ with age across cultures. For example, the content of autobiographical memory and the influence of categorization on long-term memory differ across cultures for older adults. Cultural differences are particularly robust in the domain of social cognition, including stereotypes and expectations about memory with age, wisdom, and emotional processing and memory. The chapter concludes with a consideration of some of the methodological challenges and suggestions for promising future directions, with the authors advocating for additional cognitive aging research with a cross-cultural perspective.

Keywords: cognition, aging, culture, memory, attention, emotion, social cognition

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