RT Web Page DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 649897827 LA English UL http://purl.stanford.edu/mz597dx0387 T1 Learning from the positivity effect informed and motivated behavior change A1 Lindberg, Casey Moren., Carstensen, Laura L.,, Dweck, Carol S.,, Tsai, Jeanne Ling,, Stanford University., Department of Psychology., YR 2010 AB The story of old age is not one of pure loss. Indeed, old age represents a time of certain cognitive decline in some domains, but also a time of growth and stability in others. Wisdom, maturity, expertise, and emotional regulation show improvements across adulthood. Goals also shift over the life span, from those aimed at gaining information and preparing for the future to emotionally meaningful pursuits later in life. These differences lead to goal-consistent cognitive biases in the young and the old. Younger people attend to negative information more than positive information. Older adults attend to positive information more than negative information. This developmental shift, called the positivity effect, is presumably adaptive in a life-span context. Yet either set of chronically activated goals can be maladaptive in certain contexts. Because the positivity effect is malleable -- influenced by the way task relevant goals are structured -- it may be possible to frame information in ways that reduce biases in young and old. The present program of research aims to show how biases can be reduced when participants are given information about relevant research findings and have the necessary psychological tools to adjust their behavior accordingly. No previous work has investigated the impact of disclosing information about the positivity effect directly to participants. Such an informed debiasing attempt could prove fruitful for future attempts to educate the public about their own attentional biases. Study 1 demonstrates the positivity effect in a picture recall task; Study 2 adds images to an existing image set in order to more accurately study debiasing of the positivity effect in future studies; Study 3 demonstrates that people are generally unaware of the positivity effect; Study 4 demonstrates that simple information disclosure about the positivity effect is insufficient to change participants' behavior on a picture presentation/recall task and a health care decision task; Study 5 demonstrates that participants' motivation to change is key to behavior change.