Psychology of Aging Study Guide
Psychology of Aging Study Guide 22392
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Kenedy Ramos on Friday March 18, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 22392 at Gonzaga University taught by Dr. Wolfe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Aging in Psychlogy at Gonzaga University.
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Date Created: 03/18/16
Psychology of Aging Exam #2 Study Guide Chapter 6, Views of Intelligence Charles Spearman and “g”, Spearman theorized that there were two factors that made up intelligence: “g” and “s” G = general intelligence factor S = variance attributed to a specific factor measured by a mental test This theory failed to account for broader groups of abilities such as memory, visual-spatial, attention etc. L.L. Thurstone thought that intelligence was made up of seven distinct areas (aka primary mental abilities): verbal meaning, numbers, word fluency, inductive reasoning, spatial orientation, memory, and perceptual speed. Robert Sternberg theorized that intelligence was made up of three different components: contextual, experiential, and information processing. Contextual: Cultures define intelligence differently and therefore can differentiate based on where you’re from for which information is most relevant and important, and can also vary across historical times and also age. Experiential: Based on the degree of familiarity with a task Information Processing: Involves the ability of a person to identify a problem, the strategies to solve it, and efficiency of their problem solving. James Flynn observed that there is an average 3-point gain on IQ tests per decade, which is observed to some extent worldwide. No explanations have been confirmed but possible hypotheses include nutrition, smaller families, better education, increased environment complexity, and heterosis James McKeen Cattell created a mental test that would be used to measure intelligence. He initially tried to use measures of sensorimotor functioning to predict intelligence. Also reaction time, two-point skin sensitivity, threshold, judging weights etc. Also tried to predict such things as college achievement, and weren’t considered true “mental” tests. Binet-Simon Intelligence test: French school officials wanted to identify children at risk for failure, and selected items by age – those that a given age could pass but younger children could not It was individually administered and took a few hours to complete, the scoring produced a mental age where you could compare the mental age to the chronological age of the child and determine if they were advanced or retarded (assumed that failure to know common facts reflected underlying defect) Robert Yerkes and the Army: group of intelligence tests were developed to those who were literate and those were not literate or foreign. WAIS structure: believe there was to much emphasis on verbal abilities, and there fore developed two scales – verbal and performance which was combined to yield an IQ score Age Insensitive Abilities: Information, vocabulary, and comprehension (AGE DOES NOT AFFECT THESE ABILITIES) Age Sensitive Abilities: Digit symbol, block design, picture arrangement (AGE DOES AFFECT THESE ABILITIES) Socio-Cultural Process Model: this included research on aging and in particular intelligence and aging and is influenced by the dominant perspective held at the time the research is conducted Phase 1: From the early 1900s-1950s, cross sectional research methodologies predominated, results suggested that intelligence peaked in young adulthood and then declined, goal was to find when the peak occurred, when the decline started and how rapidly it occurred. There were two confound factors, both chronological age and cohort Positive Cohort Trend: younger cohorts perform better/have higher ability than older cohorts Negative Cohort Trend: younger cohorts have less ability than when the older cohort were the same age Classical aging pattern: starting in the 20’s a gradual decline occurs in the performance scale with less decline on verbal scale until around age 65 when more significant loss is found on both, cross sectional studies tended to find more significant differences across ages, longitudinal studies showed more stability and perhaps improvement on verbal scales through middle age with decline on performance, classic pattern still found in old age with declines on both Terminal Drop Hypothesis: Finding was that right before death there was a significant drop in IQ – this was replicated in many studies and resulted in prescribing enriched mental environments for those in the later age brackets as well as physical activity to maintain intellectual abilities longer and at higher levels Phase 2: Started in the 1960s and recognized that intelligence is not just one entity (individual abilities can vary in decline trajectory, methodology of measurements influence outcomes) John Horn proposed a two-factor theory of intelligence: Crystallized Intelligence: reflects how well we have assimilated the knowledge based of our culture Fluid Intelligence: reflects the ability to reason quickly when given novel tasks or problems Paul Baltes questioned if the classic aging pattern is true, why does performance in real life remain stable and even improve in some areas with age? Mechanics of Intelligence: fluid abilities that can/do decline with age (analogous to the hardware) Pragmatics of Intelligence: this knowledge we accumulate and can compensate for mechanics losses (analogous to software) Seattle Longitudinal Study: Looked at volunteers every 7 years who were then followed longitudinally every 7 years, measured Thurstone’s tests (verbal meaning, spatial relations, inductive reasoning, number, word fluency) Found that there were gains in most measures until the 40s, stability on most measures through mid 50s to 60s, after 60s there was a consistent decline on all 5 measures at each 7 year interval for the groups, but individuals showed variability and vocabulary peaked around the age 67 By age 67 most participants showed a decline in at least one ability, by age 88 none of the participants had declined in all 5 areas, crystallized abilities declined at a much later age than cross sectional studies suggested (mid 70s) Phase 3: intellectual abilities may not be static but there could be plasticity, fluctuation within the same individual, abilities can be modified through practice and training (what we use will get better vs. what we don’t use will get worse) Nancy Denney: research exercised vs. unexercised abilities, optimally exercised are those we actively work on maintaining at a high level, exercised abilities are those we practice but not to same extent, unexercised abilities we don’t practice, predicts a curve of “cognitive performance” with highest (optimally exercised), middle (exercised), and lowest (non exercised) which declines with age but not at the same rate Seattle Study Findings found no cardiovascular disease or chronic disease, high level of education/job complexity, flexible rather than rigid personality style, high life satisfaction in midlife and beyond, intact family (ex spouse), engagement in mentally stimulating activities all contribute to higher intelligence Chapter 7, Stages of Cognitive Development Question: Do we get wiser as we become older? Answer: That depends on what you measure! Differences between types of questions: Abstract reasoning vs. wisdom and judgment; problems with one correct answer vs. problems that could have multiple answers with some better than others; what is the dividing line between intelligence, wisdom social IQ, pragmatic problem solving: do these change with age, biological changes, or are there cohort effects which influence response; what are the best methodological designs to address these types of concerns. Schaie’s Cognitive Developmental Model: we use our cognitive and intellectual abilities for the most meaningful aspects of life demands at our age, interactive model of cognition and demand, we can develop our cognitive abilities with practice, the “demands” of a life situation or age serve to focus what we practice. In this model there are four sequential stages of the life span for cognitive processes: 1) Childhood/Adolescence: Acquisitive Stage, goal is to gain knowledge and skills necessary for successful later life e.g. “What should I know?” 2) Young Adulthood: Achieving Stage, transition from acquiring knowledge to application of what has been learned e.g. “How should I use what I know?” 3) Middle Age: Responsible/Executive Stage, applying knowledge and skills for care of others such as children or parents, executive stage includes holding positions of responsibility at work or in their community e.g. “How can I help?” 4) Young Old Group: Reorganizational Stage, involves the “young- old” age group and includes restructuring for retirement and planning for loss of independence a. Restructuring for Retirement: entails creating a routine of meaningful pursuits to replace the work and family responsibilities of middle adulthood, possibly substituting volunteer and leisure activities. b. Planning for loss of Independence: may require contemplating or actually making changes in living situations, also includes writing or updating wills, trusts as well as advance medical directives 5) Old-Old Group: Reintegrative Stage, become more selective about how we expend our cognitive efforts and don’t wish to waste time on tasks and pursuits that have little meaning for us – it’s not clear whether this selectivity comes from biological or neurological changes e.g. “Why should I know?” 6) Oldest-Old Group: Legacy-Creating, individuals anticipate the end of life and it is not uncommon for them to reminisce about their past or engage in life review. Problems with measuring these constructs: IQ tests appear to be good at assessing formal operations, deductive reasoning, fluid reasoning, information acquisition, problems with a single solution. Post-formal thinking is more difficult to quantify, may be more related to success in social situations, adopting alternative view points, more life “every day life” type problems Practical Intelligence Formal Knowledge: knowledge assessed by IQ tests and grades in school Tacit Knowledge: knowing how to get something done, practical use in attaining important life goals, typically not formally articulated, but is gained from observation and learning from success and mistakes of oneself and others. Analytic Intelligence More like formal knowledge, type of intelligence likely to be successful in academic settings Analysis, comparing, evaluating Can be useful in real life settings for some types of problem solving Budgets, decisions between health care alternatives, choosing between job offers etc. Creative Intelligence Most difficult to formally asses of the three, something unique besides practical situations and academic settings Divergent thinking, inventing new things, artistic, “creative” productivity, generativity Problems with measurement include determining; quantity vs quality, highly successful vs. average individuals, point of entry in the field, type of field (humanities, arts, sciences) Practical: apply, use, do Analytic: analyze, compare, evaluate Creative: create, invent, think Wisdom: multidimensional, hard to define Related to mortality, intelligence, social knowledge, factual/procedural knowledge May be related to age but increased age does not guarantee wisdom Often studied by use of vignettes in which there is no correct answer, but answers can be “graded” for quality Often cross sectional research methods that may confound cohort effects Chapter 8, Personality and Coping Trying to define personality: What is the essential structure of personality? On what basis does this structure initiate action or behavior? Does the structure change over time, and if so in what way? How do we account for the variety of human behavior among different individuals – as well as the similarities? Structural Constructs: what are the basic parts of building blocks? iS the human being like a machine? Is it a collection of unconscious identities? Is it programmed to grow to maximal potential? Motivational Constructs: What initiates behavior? Are there internal conflicts which prevent or interfere with behavior? Are motives purely mental or reducible to a bodily basis? Can unconscious motives direct conscious behavior? Time- Perspective Constructs: Does personality change with age? If so, how and why? Is there continuity to personality across different ages? Are there differences in personality at different ages? Individual Differences Constructs: Can there be varieties of people and cultures and yet commonalities in personality? How can we account for differences in personality? Can these differences be quantified and measured in some way? Psychopathology How does a personality get “sick”? Who decides what is sick and what isn’t? What does “illness” in a personality mean? Defective structure, failure to grow, maladaptive behavior? Is it possible to “fix” these personality problems? Research: Kansas City Studies of Adult Life: Mid 1950s, married middle class couples, aged 40s-90s, study measure was the TAT TAT: person is shown a picture and asked to tell a story about the scene, based on psychoanalytic theory and based on gender/age. Therapist/Researcher looks for themes that can identify unconscious motivations and conflicts, also at ego energy and mastery style Ego Energy: vigorous, passionate, energetic engagement in life versus withdrawal Stories that were rated by examiners as active, full of detail, broad range of feelings, active life involvement were believed to reflect the person’s approach to life Ego Mastery: to what extent was the main character active in problem solving instead of retreating, challenging and confronting difficulties, overcoming obstacles etc. Stories that reflected triumph over adversity were (again) believed to reflect the person’s approach to life Results: Disengagement Theory, ego energy and ego mastery decrease with age therefore the elderly distance emotionally from society and withdraw from the world and this is the normal and correct way to age (theory) Androgyny: with increased age there is a blurring and reversal of typical masculinity and femininity with age (ex/younger people described men as dominant as women as submissive, but older people reversed the roles for the same pictures) These results suggested negative personality with increased age Problems with Methodology: cross sectional study (not truly longitudinal), validity of the TAT, disengagement as normative vs. activity theory, Balte’s selective optimization with compensation theory (some disengagement is important for successful aging
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