This paper reviews research from the longitudinal Einstein Aging Studies (EAS) that has focused on modeling intraindividual cognitive change in aging adults. We describe how to separate models of intraindividual change at the within-person level from models of individual differences in change at the between-person level. We illustrate this distinction by analyzing new data from the EAS to test the speed hypothesis at the intraindividual level of analyses. The present findings replicate those of Sliwinski and Buschke (1999) by showing that within-person changes in speed predict within-person changes in cognition, but that speed does not substantially attenuate estimates of within-person cognitive decline. We conclude that correct measurement and explanatory modeling of intraindividual change should be the primary focus of longitudinal aging research, and that the more common practice of modeling individual differences in change should be a secondary focus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health