Examining age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task
This study examined age differences in performance of a complex information search and retrieval task by using a simulated real-world task typical of those performed by customer service representatives. The study also investigated the influence of task experience and the relationships between cognitive abilities and task performance. One hundred seventeen participants from 3 age groups, younger (20-39 years). middle-aged (40-59 years), and older (60-75 years), performed the task for 3 days. Significant age differences were found for all measures of task performance with the exception of navigational efficiency and number of problems correctly navigated per attempt. There were also effects of task experience. The findings also indicated significant direct and indirect relations between component cognitive abilities and task performance.