Job Performance and the Aging Worker

Michael A. McDaniel, Bryan J. Pesta and George C. Banks

in The Oxford Handbook of Work and Aging

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195385052
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Job Performance and the Aging Worker

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This chapter begins by discussing commonly held stereotypes people have about older workers. To gauge whether these stereotypes are accurate, we review the physical, sensory, and cognitive changes occurring as a normal part of aging. Using the cognitive aging literature as a framework, we then summarize the age/job performance literature. Generally, age effects are small and non-linear, but are likely masked by the fact that most researchers have yet to sample truly older (i.e., 50 years plus) workers. Most likely, an inverted U-shaped relationship exists between age and job performance. The effects, however, are probably moderated by job complexity and whether experience with specific job content can buffer against expected age-related physical and cognitive decline. We end with tentative conclusions for practitioners and researchers in the field.

Keywords: aging; job performance; older worker

Article.  13339 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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