The Older Adult as Computer User

Document Type

Book Chapter


Psychology (Scripps)

Publication Date



Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Computerization of the contemporary workplace has been rapid and extensive. It is likely that this change will have a major impact on the older worker. In the laboratory, older adults are less able than younger adults to master new material (Hartley, Harker, and Walsh, 1980). In field studies, they have been characterized as less likely to adopt innovations (Phillips and Sternthal, 1977). The exposure of older adults to computer use raises questions for both applied and basic research. Can older adults master common computer applications? Can techniques be found that will improve or speed mastery? Does familiarity with one application transfer to others of the same class? How does knowledge develop as the older adult learns? How is the knowledge base accessed to solve specific problems, to carry out specific tasks?

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© 1985 Springer-Verlag

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