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Attentional capacity: does it decrease with the coming of age?

The objective of the study was to verify evidence of validity for the Alternating Attention Test - TEALT based on the variable age. For this it was verified if the capacity to alternate attention would diminish with the coming of age. 798 individuals from Bahia and Sergipe states participated in the research, being 442 (55.4%) from Bahia and 356 (44.6%) from Sergipe, both sexes, and with ages varying between 18 and 72 years (M=26,56; SD= 8,30). In Sergipe the participants were undergraduation students of different courses, and in Bahia they were people who had undergone psychological evaluation to obtain the driver’s license. The TEALT was applied collectively in the state of Sergipe, and individually in Bahia. The results showed negative and significant correlation between the punctuation of the TEALT and age. Three age groups were formed, and they had different performances in the test. Thus, the evidence of validity by age for the TEALT was accepted, since the increase of performance in the TEALT corresponded to a reduction in the capacity of alternating attention.

Attention tests; Alternating attention; Psychometric; Test validity

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