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Elderly Interests in the Expressive Domain

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Several researchers have examined elderly learning preferences and involvement in terms of the instrumental (basic or skill mastery) and expressive (enjoyment or self-fulfillment) dichotomy. An overall preference for instrumental types of learning usually is found; however, certain types of older individuals will report preferences for expressive types of activities. A factor analysis of data on expressive and instrumental choices resulted in ten factors with more than one item loading at 0.40 or higher. The first factor, Expressive Arts Interest, accounted for 31% of the variance. Five other factors were also expressive in nature. Some implications in terms of assessing needs, planning programs, teaching, and research are presented.

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