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Paths to positive affect in older adults : need for cognition as a motivational strength

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Paths to positive affect in older adults : need for cognition as a motivational strength

Bye, Dorothea (2007) Paths to positive affect in older adults : need for cognition as a motivational strength. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study examines how need for cognition, or the tendency to enjoy effortful cognitive activity (Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984), relates to well-being in 355 adults experiencing the transition to retirement (age range 44-79 years, M = 60, SD = 5.5). Structural equation modeling was used to identify significant pathways between exogenous variables of conscientiousness, openness, and education to need for cognition. Mediators between need for cognition and positive affect were frequency of cognitive activity and problem-focus coping. Need for cognition and perceived control emerged as separate and distinct forms of motivation, contributing to positive affect in this model through differing patterns and to different degrees. Health contributed significantly in direct paths to both perceived control and positive affect. This well-fitting model helps to explain some of the psychological mechanisms instrumental to successful adaptation in change in adulthood. Additionally, this demonstration of the critical role of need for cognition in the prediction of positive affect provides support for Fredrickson's (1998) broaden-and-build theory, which posits a reciprocal relationship between positive emotions and broadened attention and cognition. An argument is made for consideration of need for cognition as a character strength with unique predictive value for older adults.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bye, Dorothea
Pagination:v, 99 leaves : forms ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Psychology
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Pushkar, Dolores
ID Code:975428
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:08
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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