Timothy Salthouse; 2011
Adult age differences in a variety of cognitive abilities are well documented, and many of those abilities have been found to be related to success in the workplace and in everyday life. However, increased age is seldom associated with lower levels of real-world functioning, and the reasons for this lab-life discrepancy are not well understood. This article brieﬂy reviews research concerned with relations of age to cognition, relations of cognition to successful functioning outside the laboratory, and relations of age to measures of work performance and achievement. The ﬁnal section discusses several possible explanations for why there are often little or no consequences of age-related cognitive declines in everyday functioning.
"The preceding review indicates that with only a few exceptions, there is little evidence of a negative relation of age (at least within the range of 20 to 75 years of age) and indices of overall level of functioning in society. Assuming that the age-cognition and cognition-functioning relations reviewed above are valid estimates of the true population relations, the positive cognition-functioning relation and negative age-cognition relation lead to expectations of negative relations between age and functioning that are rarely observed."