nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cognition and The Little Engine That Could

Surely you remember the childhood tale about the little locomotive who builds up his confidence to accomplish a very difficult task.  I think the task was to pull a long line of rail cars up a steep incline, or something like that.

Well, according to a doctoral student at Purdue, research he's doing on 500 adults aged 55-74 suggests that if you are confident that you are younger than you are, then you are...cognitively speaking.  There's no published study on this yet, so we're left with the published media interview here., in US News (Mar 4).

"We found that these people who felt young for their age were more likely to have greater confidence about their cognitive abilities a decade later," Schafer [the researcher] said. "Yes, chronological age was important, but the subjective age had a stronger effect... What we are not sure about is what comes first. Does a person's wellness and happiness affect their cognitive abilities or does a person's cognitive ability contribute to their sense of wellness." (from the article linked above)

Maybe a better question would be, if you are confident of something does that mean it's true?

This is another of those silly forays into youth psychology that Americans are famous for.  We aren't called the Culture of Perpetual Youth for nothing.

Doc D

Opinions are entirely my own.

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