Negativity can impact memory and hearing

Negativity can impact memory and hearing

When the elderly feel negatively about aging, they may lack confidence in their abilities to hear and remember things, and perform poorly at both, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Toronto.

Within the study, researchers examined three variables, hoping to uncover connections between them. These were a person's view on aging, their self-perceptions of their ability to hear and remember, and their actual performance of these two actions. This study was the first time these three factors were studied together using the same group of subjects.

"People's feelings about getting older influence their sensory and cognitive functions," said Alison Chasteen, lead author of the study. "Those feelings are often rooted in stereotypes about getting older and comments made by those around them that their hearing and memory are failing. So, we need to take a deeper and broader approach to understanding the factors that influence their daily lives."

The results of the study showed that those who held negative views about getting older and believed they had challenges with their abilities to hear and remember things also did poorly on the hearing and memory tests. 

The research team did however stress that the study did not prove that all elderly people who demonstrate poor capacities for hearing and memory have negative views of aging. Ms Chasteen stated: "It's not that negative views on aging cause poor performance in some functions, there is simply a strong correlation between the two when a negative view impacts an individual's confidence in the ability to function."

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