Award Date

8-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Russell T. Hurlburt, Chair

Second Committee Member

Christopher Heavey

Third Committee Member

David Copeland

Graduate Faculty Representative

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages

431

Abstract

Older individuals are susceptible to the development of numerous age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. This is continuing to become a more serious social, financial, medical, and psychological problem as the average life span continues to increase across the world. Nevertheless, very little is known about the inner experience of older individuals. This study used Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) to investigate the inner experience of twelve older individuals with and without cognitive impairment. Five of six unimpaired individuals were able to engage successfully in DES compared to only one individual with cognitive impairment. The findings suggest that DES is extremely sensitive to cognitive impairment and older individuals may lack certain aspects of inner experience.

Keywords

Alzheimer's disease; Degeneration (Pathology); Introspection; Older people-- Psychological aspects; Vascular dementia

Disciplines

Cognition and Perception | Psychology

Language

English


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