Aging-related Differences in Emotional Valence from the Verb Fluency Task Depending on the Time Period

Yae Rin Yoo, Eun Jin Paek, Jee Eun Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify differences between younger and older adults in emotional valence (EV) of words produced during the first and second halves of a 1-minute verb fluency (VF) task. We also sought to determine the relationships between EV, demographic information, VF performance, working memory (WM), and Korean- Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE). Methods: A total of 62 healthy individuals participated in the study, with 31 individuals in each age group. A VF-task was conducted for a 1-minute window. The ratios of positive or negative verbs were calculated for the first and second halves of the task period. Digit forward and backward tests were administered and treated as a single index of WM capacity. Results: Both groups produced significantly more positive-EV words than negative, and in the first 30s compared to last 30s. The older adults produced significantly more positive-EV words in the first 30s than the younger group. The positive-EV ratio of verbs in the first 30s showed a significant negative correlation with task performance, K-MMSE, and WM measure. It also showed significant positive correlation with participants’ age. Conclusion: The current study indicates a significant decline in word production rate over time, and a tendency of easily producing positive-EV words in both group. Furthermore, the study revealed the elderly’s positivity effect on task performance. Lastly, using more positive-EV words in the early period of task tendency was significantly and negatively correlated with the task performance, WM measures, and KMMSE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-804
Number of pages14
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. All rights reserved.


  • Aging
  • Emotional valence
  • Verb fluency task
  • 노년층
  • 동사유창성
  • 정서가


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