Cognitive Engineering to Support Successful Aging

Wendy A. Rogers, Marita A. O’Brien and Arthur D. Fisk

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199757183
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Cognitive Engineering to Support Successful Aging

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  • Cognitive Psychology



Good design supports successful interactions for all users. The reality of today’s world is that an everyday technology device or system designed for adults might be used by individuals from age 18 to 98. The unique needs and capabilities of such a wide range of users must be considered in the design process. Moreover, technologies may be designed specifically for older adults—to support their continued independence. Understanding older adults’ needs, capabilities, and preferences is critical for these technologies to achieve their intended goals. The present chapter provides a summary overview of the movement control, perceptual, and cognitive changes that accompany aging. We then provide illustrations of cognitive engineering insights into designing for successful aging. We discuss the importance of experience and crystallized knowledge as well as the potential for negative transfer and the role of strategies for technology interactions. We close with heuristics to guide design as well as future directions.

Keywords: aging; cognition; environmental support; movement control; perception

Article.  8836 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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