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Abstract

Older adult memory performance declines with age. However, memory for newly learned material is only one measure of cognitive competence. This article reviews research that measured older adult cognitive performance using tasks that tap crystallized abilities, everyday problem solving, and those that used older expert subjects. The results indicate that many cognitive functions remain stable from middle age onward. This suggests that cognitive decline is not an inevitable result of aging per se. This implies that antecedents of cognitive decline, such as health, should be used as a segmentation variable for the older adult market. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.