Memory, aging, and survey measurement
DOI link for Memory, aging, and survey measurement
Memory, aging, and survey measurement book
As documented in other chapters of this volume, survey methods are used extensively to assess and measure various aspects of the lives of citizens aged 60 and above. Surveys enable researchers to assess needs, attitudes, and opinions, and to track changes in living habits and in the use of products and services. This information can then be used by government agencies and commercial organizations to frame appropriate policies and to steer business decisions. There are special problems, however, associated with the collection of valid data from older people. As illustrated throughout this book, age-related cognitive changes necessitate the careful interpretation of survey results from elderly respondents; they may have particular difficulties in comprehending questions, especially, perhaps, in telephone interviews; they may be more liable to impose their own assumptions on what is being asked and why; they may have difficulty in holding and integrating the successive parts of long or complex questions, and they may have problems in remembering details of their own habits and actions.