Technology-Based Support for Older Adult Communication in Safety-Critical Domains

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of how age-related changes in cognition influence communication and learning in safety-critical domains has important practical and theoretical implications. The work described in this chapter leveraged theories of communication and cognitive aging in order to investigate how collaboration between older adults and their health-care providers can be supported by technology. According to interactive theories of communication, collaboration requires providers and older adults to present, understand, and ground contributions so that these contributions are accepted as mutually understood and relevant to shared goals. These collaborative processes are influenced by resources and constraints associated with communication media (e.g., face-to-face versus asynchronous communication) and communication partners (e.g., health literacy abilities such as processing capacity and knowledge). We investigated how older adult/provider collaboration needed for self-care can be supported by technology. We built on benefits of face-to-face communication (e.g., rapid turn-taking, nonverbal cues to affective as well as cognitive meaning) while using technology to address constraints associated with this communication situation, such as transient speech and message reviewability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-317
Number of pages33
JournalPsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
StatePublished - 2016


  • Aging
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Health care
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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