As adults age, their cognitive speed declines, which may lead to deficiencies in cognitive functions. Both clinical and commercial applications exist for older adults that may stay or reverse this decline. In this exploratory investigation, we examined whether an intervention using a free social networking platform could improve older adults’ cognitive speed. To do so, we conducted a pre-assessment, intervention, and post-assessment with older adults (82.5 years old on average) who lived in an assisted living facility. We found that older adults who used Instagram on an iPad produced statistically significant results in their interference responses based on the tests we administered. These findings show that Instagram increased older adults’ cognitive speed similar to improvements shown with clinical and commercial cognitive software. Therefore, a free social media technology may enhance older adults’ processing speed. Additionally, it may encourage older adults to maintain an active social network and even adapt to changing technology.
Milovich, M., & Burleson, D. (2020). Connections and Cognitive Speed of Older Adults: Using a Social Media Intervention to Improve Cognitive Speed. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 47, pp-pp. https://doi.org/10.17705/1CAIS.04734
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