Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Joan Erber

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Marvin Dunn

Third Advisor's Name

William Kurtines


Psychological tests, Older people, Computer literacy

Date of Defense



This study examined the interaction of age, attitude, and performance within the context of an interactive computer testing experience. Subjects were 13 males and 47 females between the ages of 55 and 82, with a minimum of a high school education.

Initial attitudes toward computers, as measured by the Cybernetics Attitude Scale (CAS), demonstrated overall equivalence between these older subjects and previously tested younger subjects. Post-intervention scores on the CAS indicated that attitudes toward computers were unaffected by either a "fun" or a "challenging" computer interaction experience.

The differential effects of a computerized vs. a paperand- pencil presentation format of a 20-item, multiple choice vocabulary test were examined. Results indicated no significant differences in the performance of subjects in the two conditions, and no interaction effect between attitude and performance.

These findings suggest that the attitudes of older adults towards computers do not affect their computerized testing performance, at least for short term testing of verbal abilities. A further implication is that, under the conditions presented here, older subjects appear to be unaffected by mode of testing. The impact of recent advanced in technology on older adults is discussed.




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