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Psychology 4070 4

Psychology 4070 4 - Psychology 4070 Middle Adulthood...

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Psychology 4070 Middle Adulthood Physical Development - Young adults are at their physical and sensory peak - The decline during middle adulthood is usually gradual - People can compensate - Heredity, health habits, environmental factors, and disease influence the rate and type of changes - Most middle-aged (as well as most older) adults live high-quality and satisfying lives - The senses: - Vision : - In their 40’s, the lenses in people’s eyes grow and the muscles that focus (accommodate) them weaken - Most will have problems with small print - By 50, the lens thickens so much, it accommodates only one-sixth of what they did at 20 - By 60, the lens is so thick, it accommodates even less - Because of lens enlargement, the eye rapidly becomes more far-sighted between ages 40 to 60 - Near-sighted people need bifocals (used for both far-sighted and near-sighted people) - A middle-ager’s ability to see in dim light declines at twice the rate of daylight vision - Yellowing of the lens changes in the vitreous, and loss of cones in the retina limit color discrimination - Hearing : - Gradually diminishes during midlife - For many, hearing loss is not significant until late adulthood, but about 14% of 45 to 64 year- olds have hearing loss - Adult-onset hearing loss accounts for many cases, but some conditions are hereditary - Presbycusis – (meaning “old hearing”) becomes more common - “Presby” means due to aging - Aging and atherosclerosis damage the inner-ear (which transforms sounds to neural impulses) - The brain’s auditory cortex also declines - The first sign of noticeable hearing loss is in the high frequencies at around age 50 - Gradually, losses extend to all frequencies - In some jobs, hearing protectors are necessary - Noise may be doing harm to you if: - 1.) You must raise your voice to be heard - 2.) You cannot hear someone a few feet away - 3.) Speech sounds muffled or dull after you leave a noisy area - 4.) You have pain or ringing in your ears (tinnitus) after exposure to noise - Most middle-aged and elderly people with hearing difficulties benefit from hearing aids - Once hearing voices are affected, speaking to the person patiently, clearly, and with good eye contact aids understanding - The other senses: - Taste : - A little decline in the 50’s (fewer taste buds) - Touch and pain : - Decline slightly from age 45 - Smell : - Loss may begin in middle adulthood - The production hair pigment decreases in adulthood - Graying of hair (influenced by genes) can become marked - Baldness - Controlled by genetics and male hormones - More males than females go bald - By 45, 45% of men have significant baldness - Skin – three layers: - 1.) Epidermis – outer protective layer; new cells are constantly produced - 2.) Dermis – middle supportive layer; connective tissue stretches; gives flexibility
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- 3.) Hypodermis – inner, fatty layer; adds to the soft lines and shapes of the skin - With age, the epidermis separates from the dermis - Dermis fibers are thin - Fat in the hypodermis diminishes - An individual’s typical emotional expressions influence the kinds of wrinkles they will have
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Psychology 4070 4 - Psychology 4070 Middle Adulthood...

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