FR-P02-035interactive - Aging of Expertise: The Role of Excellence and Health

Track:
The aging workforce and retirement
What:
Interactive Poster Presentation
When:
1 hour 30 minutes
Where:
O'Brien Foyer
Discussion:
0
Labor market issues
The aging workforce and retirement
FR-P02-035interactive
Aging of Expertise: The Role of Excellence and Health
 
C. Niessen 1,*, R. Trinczek 2, F. Lang 2, A. Ziegler 2
1Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, 2Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
 
Content: Purpose
Research has shown that it is possible preserve expertise until late in life and after retirement. To obtain and acquire new knowledge and skills, individuals have to continuously engage in learning and training of skills. However, an individual’s capacity to learn and to deliberately practice is limited depending on aging-associated health changes. In the present study we investigated whether age relates to learning and deliberate practice in an age-heterogeneous sample of academics from 33 to 88 years of age. Moreover, we examined the effects of excellence in academia, and of health on learning activities and deliberate practice across adulthood.
Design/Methodology
The hypotheses were tested among 144 biologists (university professors in Germany; age range 33 – 88 years, M = 51.1 years, SD = 9.5).
Results
A moderated regression analysis revealed that professors’ excellence (operationalized as academic impact with the i10 index) moderated the relationship between age and learning; age was associated with a decrease in learning when excellence was low. When professors reported lower health, age was positively associated deliberate practice.
Limitations
Limitations are the cross-sectional design and self-report of health.
Research/Practical Implications
Both, excellence and health are important resources to achieve and maintain expertise across adulthood. Older academics engage more in learning, when they are more excellent, and, in the case of poor health, they practice deliberately to maintain their expertise.
Originality/Value
This study adds to the literature the role of excellence and health on learning activities and deliberate practice across adulthood in the context of academia.
 
 
 
 
 

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