Often, we hear about studies that focus on declines that occur with older age. In my lab, I am interested in studying areas in which adults continue to grow and develop with age. Much of my research examines how older adults' beliefs and experiences inform their social and cognitive functioning in social situations. For example, during intergenerational communications, how do people adjust their speech to adapt to the person they are speaking with? And how do a person’s beliefs influence their perceptions of social situations and the judgments they form of others? I am also interested in the role of personal beliefs and expectations on cognitive outcomes such as memory. For example, what memory strategies do older adults believe will positively affect their memory performance? Do these strategies actually work?
The overarching goal of my research is to better understand the types of behaviors that are adaptive for adults in social situations. The hope is that understanding the underlying processes that drive behavior will not only reveal when older adults will show poor judgment in social situations, but also when they will instead benefit from their accumulated experience and demonstrate exceptional performance.
From the time I stepped onto Furman’s campus, I have also been involved with the Shi Center for Sustainability as part of the Conservation Culture Research Initiative. My role in this collaborative team is to research beliefs about environmental issues and monitor behavioral changes on campus as Furman implements sustainability initiatives on campus. I am also interested in outreach to the greater Greenville community and am involved in research projects examining the impact of sustainability initiatives on older adults’ sense of well-being and cognitive outcomes. More information about the Shi Center for Sustainability can be found here.
If you are interested in working in my lab as a student researcher, find out how!
If you are interested in volunteering to be a participant, find out how!
Blanchard-Fields, F., Hertzog, C. & Horhota, M. (2012) Violate My Beliefs? – Then You’re to Blame! Belief Content as an Explanation for Causal Attribution Biases. Psychology and Aging, 27, 324-337. doi: 10.1037/a0024423.
Horhota, M., Lineweaver, T., Ositelu, M., Summers, K. & Hertzog, C. (2012). Young and older adults’ beliefs about effective ways to mitigate memory decline. Psychology and Aging, 27, 293-304. doi: 10.1037/a0026088.
Horhota, M., Mienaltowski, A., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2012). If only I had taken my usual route… : Age-related differences in counter-factual thinking. Aging, Neuropsychology & Cognition, 19, 339-361. DOI:10.1080/13825585.2011.615904
Horhota, M., Einstein, G.O., & McDaniel, M.A. (2011). Physical and Cognitive Function. In V.A. Hirth, D. Wieland & M. Dever-Bumba (Eds.) Case-based geriatrics: A global approach (pp.21-33). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Horhota, M., Stratton, J., Halfacre, A., & Asman, J. (2011). Engaging Incoming First Year Students: Lessons Learned from a Sustainability Orientation Session. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, 4, 26-32.
Hertzog, C., McGuire, C. L., Horhota, M., & Jopp, D. (2010). Does believing in “Use it or Lose it” relate to self-rated memory control, strategy use, and recall? International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 70(1), 61-87.
If you would like a pdf version of any of my publications, please email me!