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The Role of Personality in a Regular Cognitive Monitoring Program

Sadeq, Nasreen A., BA*; Valdes, Elise G., PhD*; Harrison Bush, Aryn L., PhD*; Andel, Ross, PhD*,†

Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: July-September 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 226–231
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0000000000000236
Original Articles

Objectives: This study examines the role of personality in cognitive performance, adherence, and satisfaction with regular cognitive self-monitoring.

Materials and Methods: One hundred fifty-seven cognitively healthy older adults, age 55+, completed the 44-item Big-Five Inventory and were subsequently engaged in online monthly cognitive monitoring using the Cogstate Brief Battery for up to 35 months (M=14 mo, SD=7 mo). The test measures speed and accuracy in reaction time, visual learning, and working memory tasks.

Results: Neuroticism, although not related to cognitive performance overall (P>0.05), was related to a greater increase in accuracy (estimate=0.07, P=0.04) and speed (estimate=−0.09, P=0.03) on One Card Learning. Greater conscientiousness was related to faster overall speed on Detection (estimate=−1.62, P=0.02) and a significant rate of improvement in speed on One Card Learning (estimate=−0.10, P<0.03). No differences in satisfaction or adherence to monthly monitoring as a function of neuroticism or conscientiousness were observed.

Conclusions: Participants volunteering for regular cognitive monitoring may be quite uniform in terms of personality traits, with personality traits playing a relatively minor role in adherence and satisfaction. The more neurotic may exhibit better accuracy and improve in speed with time, whereas the more conscientious may perform faster overall and improve in speed on some tasks, but the effects appear small.

*School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne’s University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic

Supported by the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Nasreen A. Sadeq, BA, School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MHC 1300, Tampa, FL 33612 (e-mail:

Received June 22, 2017

Accepted November 16, 2017

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