Mate Selection: Speed dating study by Eli Finkel There is a discrepancy between the attributes people say they are looking for, and who they actually desire at the end of the speed dating session. This may explain why people end up in relationships that don’t work, because they don’t listen to these attributes in the early stages of a relationships. Students say first impressions are “make or break” moments. Least poetic definition of love: norepinephrine dopamine A study put infatuated people in an MRI and looked at the changes in their brain as romantic feelings were activated by pictures/reminders of whom they are infatuated with. Natural stimulants of norepinephrine and dopamine rise during “love” There was activation in reward systems of the brain. Suppressed regions of the brain are critical thinking (frontal lobe) which may explain the phenomena of “love making people blind” These love feelings only last an average of 2-3 years. Cohabitation Trends- Why the significant increased divorce rates in US cohabitation couples? Cohabiting couples (before marriage) have a 20% chance of divorce. Marriage Trends: The U Shaped Curve Marriage satisfaction across time is a U shaped curve. The marriage starts of well, satisfaction drops during middle age due to career stress, finances, children, etc. but goes back up in late adulthood. Deinstitutionalization of Marriage due to the following factors: 1. Childbirths outside of marriage in 30% of marriages 2. Probability of divorce is about 50% 3. Percent of marriage overall is decreasing 4. People living alone has increasedMedian age for female college graduates to get married is 27 years old. Females without a college degree are more likely to have children before marriage. Parenthood: Fertility rates are declining. Transition to Parenting. Parenthood makes couples less intimate and happy. Motherhood experiences: ∙ The main force that affects how closely a woman fits her motherhood ideal (how she perceived motherhood to be before having children) is the attachment she has with her child. Temperamental or detached children can make the mother feel like she failed. ∙ Society and media wrongfully portray motherhood as “blissful” in reality it can be extremely stressful ∙ Contrary to popular opinion, 21st century mothers actually spend more time with their children than mothers 50 years ago. ∙ Western women do twice as much hands on caregiving as men Fatherhood Experiences ∙ Internationally: fathers are spending more hours per week in childcare activity than 50 years ago ∙ Post 1970’s when women transitioned into the workforce, the nurturer father became a masculine ideal. This made fathers more involved in their children’s lives. ∙ Father’s play with their children in a more “rough and tumble” way. ∙ Dads are more involved with sons than daughters. ∙ Gay dads are more apt to be full caregiving partners. ∙ The need to be the primary breadwinner keeps the fathers from being primary caregivers. Divorce lower income, lower education ∙ Divorce rates higher in the south (TN ranked #7) Can divorce be good? Yes, it can be good for kids that are chronically exposed to a toxic conflict environment. People that divorce because their marriage was miserable experienced better well being after divorce, meanwhile people that divorced because the marriage was “fairly good but unfulfilling” reported feeling worse after divorce. The current U.S. life expectancy is 78.7 years. Women tend to live longer than men Personality: The BIG 5 Big 5 Personality traits (OCEAN) 1. Openness: being curious, original, intellectual, and open to new ideas 2. Conscientiousness: organized, systematic, punctual, achievement oriented, dependable 3. Extraversion: outgoing, talkative, enjoying social situations 4. Agreeableness: affable, tolerant, sensitive, trusting, kind, and warm 5. Neuroticism: anxious, irritable, temperamental, and moody. *Stability of Personality traits over time: Conscientiousness and agreeableness tend to fluctuate over the lifespanIf- then contingencies relate behavior to a situation. These are considered “personality signatures” because in most people, they behave the same way in same situations. Personality Outcomes Career Achievement: Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, low Neuroticism Relationships: Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, low Neuroticism Which temperament traits are most heritable? Extraversion and Neuroticism Lifespan Theory of Careers (Donald Super, 1957) ∙ Moratorium: Teens, college students, finding their path ∙ Establishment Phase: (20s-40s) found a career path and a job ∙ Maintenance: (late 40s-50s) move up in the field- the peak of the career ∙ Decline: retirement Holland’s Six Personality Types 1. Realistic: likes working with tools, hands on, etc. 2. Investigative: police, FBI, etc. 3. Artistic: creative fields 4. Social: social work, teaching 5. Entrepreneur: business 6. Conventional: math, data Personal needs and career What are your career anchors? Challenge, creativity, stability, autonomy, managerial competence Intrinsic vs. extrinsic Intrinsic: cubicle Extrinsic: active jobs Role conflict can contribute to job dissatisfaction: job doesn’t match up with personality, career anchors, etc. Finding your flow: skill set fits challenges. High challenge can present anxiety within a career, while high skills without challenge can present boredom within a career. Role ambiguity and role overload are also predictors of dissatisfaction within a career. Retirement: Average age of retirement in U.S. is 65-67 yrs. Historical notion of “retirement” didn’t exist (people worked until the end). The first formal recognition of retirement is from 1880 in Germany, where the government began a retirement system. Today in the U.S., only 5% of people above the age of 70 are employed. Happiness Set-point theory: assumes we each have a fixed “average” level of happiness around which our day-to-day or moment-to-moment happiness varies. Happiness fluctuates due to adverse and positive life events, but usually returns to the set point. Our intentional activities and choices may influence the set point of one’s happiness. Intentional activities that increase happiness (supported by research) ∙ Family and friends ∙ Decreased materialism ∙ Flow (career) ∙ Forgiving easily ∙ Gratitude ∙ Altruistic acts: being generative, helping others, serving “mind-wandering” or thinking about the past or future predicts unhappiness. How often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged. When are people the happiest? Sex, exercising, engaging in conversation When are people the least happy? Resting, working, using a computer Methodology for testing happiness: Killingsworth & Gilbert (2011): a wondering mind is unhappy. Arthur Stone- (2010). 340,000 adults emotions tracked through self report. Factors: 1. Sex: Women tend to be happier 2. Personality: lower levels of neuroticism and higher levels of extraversion are associated with happiness. 3. External circumstances: relationships, education, income, health 4. Age: the U bend curve. Explanations? Maturity, living in the present, focus, “death of ambition and birth of acceptance” Hedonic Treadmill: tendency of humans to return back to a stable level of happiness (set-point) after negative or positive events in their life. Physical changes in old age Primary: biological and universal age related changings. Examples: grey hair, hair loss, wrinkles, joint pain, changes in memory or cognitive function Secondary: environmental influences that are neither inevitable nor universal Examples: smoking, being sedentary, eating habits, weight gain Adult Physical Functioning: vision, hearing, smell, tastes, muscles, bones, heart and lungs, nervous system, immune system, reproductive system, height, weight, skin, hair Vision and smell, muscle tissue begins declining in the mid 40s Hearing begins declining in the late 50s-early 60s Taste is pretty consistent Loss of calcium in bones can begin as early as 30s for women Hearts and lungs gradually decrease capacity. Compression of the disc of the spine results in loss of 1-2 inches in height by age 60. Wrinkles begin to show in the 40’s. Hair loss is variable. Late Adulthood Brain Changes: Space between brain and skull doubles between age 30-70. By age 80, brain mass decreases 5-10% What areas are affected the most? 1. Hippocampus: memory (LTM) 2. Frontal lobes: executive functions (STM) 3. Decreased dopamine production Intellectual Ability 1. Crystallized Intelligence: facts, info from school, verbally mediated (anything you learn in history class) 2. Fluid Intelligence: nonverbal, actions, problem solving, learning, recognizing patterns Seattle Longitudinal Study: study of the effect of aging on intelligence, involving simultaneously conducting and comparing the results of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies carried out with a group of Seattle volunteers. Findings: fluid intelligence decays faster Terminal Drop: Concept that emphasizes that changes in cognitive functioning may be linked to more distance from death or cognitive-related pathology than distance from birth. People who have cardiovascular diseases or other chronic illness show steeper declines in mental abilities than their healthier peers. Diseases (and most likely the drugs used to treat them) also contribute to a rapid decline in intellectual abilities within a few years. Memory 3 types of memory 1. Procedural memory: muscle memory, tying shoe, playing the piano, riding a bicycle *think muscle memory 2. Semantic Memory: jeopardy, facts, crystallized information (anything you learned in history class). *facts 3. Episodic: “I remember when…” memories: graduations, birthdays, vacations, deaths, etc. Think of your life as a bunch of tv episodes Memory Resiliency: Procedural memory is usually the last to go (think walking, feeding oneself). Semantic memory is moderately resilient. Episodic memory is the first to go. Mnemonic Techniques: Strategies that make information emotionally vivid. This works because emotional memories (like your wedding day) activate larger regions of the brain, making them harder to forget Self-efficacy: feeling like you have the ability to succeed Research Methods in Developmental Psychology Longitudinal Design: conducted on a single group of people over a long period of time; Limitations: takes a long time to get results Cross-sectional Design: examines different cohorts over a short period of time; Limitations: different cohorts have differences in how they behave, act, view the world, etc. Sequential Design: combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal; Limitations: costly, results may varyDementing Diseases: Alzheimer’s: Genetic marker APOE-4 ∙ Cognitive Problems due to neuron decay ∙ Neurofibrillary tangles, senile plaques (called amyloid plaques) that build up in brain Dementia: lack of blood flow to brain Significant increase in risk of dementia between ages 75-85. Late adulthood people are much more religious. Most common civic engagement for older adults? Religion. Causes of death have shifted from infectious diseases to a spike in heart disease and cancer over the past 150 years. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s Stages of Dying 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance *This Theory is NOT supported Widowhood mortality effect: after the death of a spouse, the other spouse sometimes dies shortly after. Suicide: 10-fold risk for men Happiness in old age “Watchdog” role: grandparents resume the role of watching out for the younger family members Socio-Emotional Selectivity Theory: older adults spend more time with the people they love, they control emotions better, and they look at things in a more positive life *reshape what’s important to them Redemptive Sequences: adversity narrative sequences characterized by growth (hardships viewed as an opportunity to grow). Generativity: feeling like you have contributed to society Grandparenthood: one of the highest ranked areas of satisfaction in late adulthood (Due to generativity) Older people have higher control over emotional reactions Keeping Sharp: use it or lose it might actually have some truth. Using problem solving skills, exercising, reading, knitting, etc. can all keep the brain sharp and ward off or delay dementing diseases. Flow experiences: doing a task where you become fully immersed and temporarily forget the outside world. Selective Optimization: narrow to favorite activites, refine skills to favorite things to do Compensation: write things down, give brain cues. Nun study A group of 678 nuns donated their brains to science after their death. The findings found many of the sisters had the characteristics of Alzheimer’s in their brains, but showed little to no symptoms. Snowden hypothesizes that these women did not show symptoms because they kept their minds active. Mice genetically bred to develop plaques and tangles (Alzheimer’s) Results: by 12 months of age, the mice in the learning group had 60% fewer plaques and tangles in their brains, and better learning and memory skills. By 15 months of age, the brains of the mice in the learning group had degenerated to the same degree as the mice in the non-learning group. Learning and the brain: “use it or lose it” Learning physically changes the brain because it can rewire itself with each new stimulus or behavior. Thanks and goodluck!
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