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Unformatted text preview: Models in the Study of Adult Development & Aging * Models v. Theories * Models: a concrete image or structural representation of theoretical relationships.- describes how a process occurs and is organized * Theories: describe and explain age related differences- a coherent set of related concepts, which seeks to organize and explain datainspire further research and predict the isolated pieces of datas results - Theories and research about human behavior are products of very human individuals, whose inquiries and interpretations are inevitably influenced by their own values and experience. (enriching insights, but may produce blind spots) METATHEORIES * Metatheory (supertheory): perspective from which people, including scientists, view phenomena such as aging- It is like a lens through which a person looks @ the universe: a set of assumptions and values that filter perceptions and focus ones view of reality.- Can shape the questions researchers ask, the topics they think it important to study, the methods they use, the kinds of evidence they look for, and the way they interpret their results.- Qualitative development and Quantitative Development Examples of Three Metatheories See table 2.1 on page 37 * Mechanistic perspective: Mechanistic perspective: - views all things in nature, including adult human beings, as if they were machines which is the sum of all its parts. To understand it, we can break it down to its smallest components and then reassemble it.- It operates in response to external and internal stimuli, making behavior very predictable.- May break down under stressunidirectional; decline or decline with compensation- Quantitative (ex. How much or how quickly a person can remember. - Development is continuous and moving in one direction at a time.- Value of old age: low- Information-processing theory : representing the mechanistic view, explains how the human mind works. How people manipulate information and solve problems. But some times information-processing isnt mechanistic because emotions and motivations play a part in thought and memory. (incoding, storage, retrieval) * Organismic perspective: stage theory- see people as developing organisms (ex. Embryo because they are growing, maturing beings with internally generated patterns of development)- Initiate events; dont just react- Environmental influences dont cause or significantly alter development, though they might speed it up or slow it down- Progressive sequence of stages, moving in one direction: toward full maturation: a stage , is a pattern of behavior typical of a certain period of development, which leads to a different, usually more advanced pattern....
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- Spring '08