The Interface of Adult Learning and Intelligence

K. Warner Schaie and Faika A. K. Zanjani

in The Oxford Handbook of Reciprocal Adult Development and Learning

Second edition

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736300
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Interface of Adult Learning and Intelligence

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  • Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology


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There is evidence that the continued involvement in educational activities can promote positive cognitive functioning in late life, but at the same time educational level does not halt cognitive decline. Data from the Seattle Longitudinal Study indicate that changes in increased educational attainment have led to both positive and negative changes in cognitive ability. Future cohorts are better positioned to respond to an increasingly complex environment and are likely to display more positive cognitive trajectories than their earlier generations. This fact will result in protective factors and compensate for cognitive risks and neurobiological losses associated with increased longevity.

Keywords: education; cognitive aging; generational effects; cohort effects; cognition; aging

Article.  4434 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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