Motivation as a mediator of the relation between cognitive reserve and cognitive performance.

F Vallet, N Mella, A Ihle, M Beaudoin, D Fagot, N Ballhausen, M Baeriswyl, M Schlemmer, M Oris, M Kliegel, O Desrichard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives:

Interindividual differences in cognitive aging may be explained by differences in cognitive reserve (CR) that are built up across the life span. A plausible but underresearched mechanism for these differences is that CR helps compensating cognitive decline by enhancing motivation to cope with challenging cognitive situations. Theories of motivation on cognition suggest that perceived capacity and intrinsic motivation may be key mediators in this respect. 

Method: 

In 506 older adults, we assessed CR proxies (education, occupation, leisure activities), motivation (perceived capacity, intrinsic motivation), and a global measure of cognitive functioning. 

Results: 

Perceived capacity, but not intrinsic motivation, significantly mediated the relation between CR and cognitive performance. 

Discussion: 

Complementary with neurobiological and cognitive processes, our results suggest a more comprehensive view of the role of motivational aspects built up across the life span in determining differences in cognitive performance in old age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1205
JournalThe Journals Of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences
Volume75
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Cognitive performance
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Motivation
  • Perceived capacity

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    Vallet, F., Mella, N., Ihle, A., Beaudoin, M., Fagot, D., Ballhausen, N., Baeriswyl, M., Schlemmer, M., Oris, M., Kliegel, M., & Desrichard, O. (2020). Motivation as a mediator of the relation between cognitive reserve and cognitive performance. The Journals Of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences And Social Sciences, 75(6), 1199-1205. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/gby144