The impact of emotional congruent and emotional neutral context on recognizing complex emotions in older adults
SourceAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 27, 5, (2020), pp. 677-692
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
SubjectNeuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Adding context information has been shown to attenuate the age-related decline of emotion recognition. Specifically, older adults might benefit from emotional congruent context information due to their greater social knowledge. Contrary, emotional neutral context information might impair older adults' performance more due to their decline of inhibitory abilities. Our aim was to examine the age-related decline of complex emotion recognition across three context conditions (emotional congruent, emotional neutral and no context). We hypothesized that emotional congruent context will help older adults to perform at the same level as younger adults and expected worse performance of older adults in the emotional neutral and no context conditions. Twenty-eight older and 28 younger adults watched film clips with complex emotions preceded by a fixation cross (no context), emotional congruent context or emotional neutral context. Emotional neutral context affected older adults' performance more negatively than young adults', whereas emotional congruent improved performance of both young and older adults to a similar extent. Results suggest that emotional congruent context does not eliminate the overall age-related deficit in complex emotion recognition. In contrast, this deficit might be intensified by emotional neutral context.
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