Date of Graduation
It has been suggested that instructional supportive messages consisting of positive emotional content or an offer of practical support have been linked to increased cognitive performance in a variety of domains (Denney, Tozier, & Schlotthauer, 1992; Isen, Daubman, & Nowicki, 1987; Kennedy, Mather, & Carstensen, 2004; Sarason, 1981; Sarason & Sarason, 1986; Tardy, 1992). The exposure to instructional supportive messages has also been linked to the amount of anxious and task-irrelevant thoughts (cognitive interference) that individuals report experiencing during a cognitive task (Sarason, 1981; Sarason & Sarason, 1986). Research assessing the effect of instructional input on performing everyday problems has primarily focused on messages attempting to increase motivation (Denney, Tozier, & Schlotthauer, 1992). The current study examined the relation between instructional supportive messages intended to provide emotional support or offer practical support while completing an everyday problem-solving task. Participants consisted of 102 middle-aged and older adults. Results suggest that exposure to emotionally-supportive messages benefited everyday problem-solving performance. Evidence also suggests that this relation is mediated by the amount of distracting thoughts experienced during task completion. The effects of self-efficacy, basic cognitive ability, education, affect, and perceived social support on everyday problem-solving or responses to supportive messages were also examined.
Kimbler, Kristopher J., "The effect of experimentally-provided supportive messages on middle-aged and old adults' performance on everyday problems." (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9189.