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Estimating the effects of repeated test exposure by a design-based sampling approach

Conference paper
Authors Valgeir Thorvaldsson
S.M Hofer
S Berg
Boo Johansson
Published in The 2006 Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Publication year 2006
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Subject categories Psychology


Estimates of gains related to repeated test exposure and aging-related within-person cognitive changes are confounded in most longitudinal studies because of the nonindependent time structures underlying both processes. Statistical approaches for estimating separate retest effects rely on between-person age differences to estimate effects of repeated testing. This study demonstrates how retest effects can be evaluated at the group-level using a sampling-based design approach where level and change of cognitive performance of previous participants in an age-homogeneous population-based study, measurement at ages 70, 75, 79, 81, 85, 88, 90, 92, 95, 97, and 99, were compared with performances of survivors of a representative sample identified and drawn from of the same original population cohort but invited from the first time at age 85 with subsequent measurements at age 88, 90, 92, 95, 97, and 99. The comparisons revealed a small trend toward retest effects on most of the cognitive measurements. The study demonstrates how a design-based approach can provide valuable insights into continuous learning processes embedded in population average aging trajectories that are not confounded with cohort and mortality-related selective attrition. Implicit assumptions of both statistical and design-based approaches are discussed.

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