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Each time his original subjects were retested (longitudinal design), he also tested a group of adults at each age interval and then followed them longitudinally as well, thus controlling for the possible effects of retesting as well as uncovering the impact of cohort differences.
Findings indicate that from age 20 until the late 50s, cognitive abilities are more likely to increase than decrease, with the exception of arithmetic skills, which begin to shift slightly downward by age 40.
Not until the 80s does performance fall below the middle range of performance for young adults.