Study Outline - Study Outline Chapter 7: Psychological...

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Study Outline Chapter 7: Psychological Perspectives on Aging Psychology: the scientific study of behavior and mental processes that focuses on individuals Aging and Cognitive Change Cognitive psychology: is the study of mental processes Psychologists have doe studies on how mental processes change over the life course. Social gerontologists are concerned with identifying and understanding patterns of change in mental processes associated with age. 1) Creativity and Wisdom a. Creativity: Measure of divergent thinking, meaning the production of alternative solutions to a problem or situation. It is the mot elusive mental process to define and measure. Much lies in the eyes of the beholder b. Some researchers believe that creativity peaks early (before 40) c. Although evidence suggests people nearing the end of a creative career typically produce half as much as they did in their late 30s and early 40s d. Sometimes offset of quantity can increase the quality e. Wisdom: Expert knowledge that people acquire in the fundamental pragmatics of life e.i. Wisdom is practical decision making e.ii. Wisdom helps people adapt to aging. Although stressful life events such as health problem are responsible for differences in well- being among the elderly, older people do not react to identical situations in the same way 2) Intelligence a. Intelligence: is the product of two fundamental types of skills: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence b. Creativity and wisdom are components of intelligence b.i. Fluid intelligence: b.i.1. Refers to the capacity to process novel information b.i.2. It is the ability to apply mental power to situations that require little or no prior knowledge b.i.3. Since it is not influenced by prior learning it is synonymous with creativity b.i.4. Fluid intelligence is required to identify relationships and to draw inferences on the basis of that understanding b.ii. Classic aging pattern: age- related declines in verbal and performance intelligence among people older than 60 b.ii.1. Tests done of this pattern show a general decline however results showed a more complex picture of aging patterns b.ii.1.a. Test measured intelligence in terms of primary mental abilities of verbal meaning, spatial
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orientation, perceptual speed, numeric ability, verbal ability and verbal memory b.ii.1.b. All intelligence increased until late 30s and early 40s b.ii.1.c. Period of gain was followed by a period of stability until 60 years b.ii.1.d. Around 70 the decline in measured intelligence increased b.ii.2. Significant intellectual decline occurs only late in life, there is great variation in the type and level of change between individuals and cohorts b.ii.3. Other research has confirmed the age related decline in fluid intelligence b.iii. Healthier people maintained higher levels of intellectual functioning than those who were ill b.iv. Socioeconomic status is also associated with variation in intellectual chance. b.v.
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Study Outline - Study Outline Chapter 7: Psychological...

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