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Psyc 3120 chapter 17 lecture notes

by: Kennedy Finister

Psyc 3120 chapter 17 lecture notes PSYC 3120

Marketplace > Auburn University > Psychlogy > PSYC 3120 > Psyc 3120 chapter 17 lecture notes
Kennedy Finister
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About this Document

Late adulthood : physical and cognitive development
Developmental Psychology
Elizabeth Brestan Knight
Class Notes
Psychology, developmental psychology, psyc3120, Auburn University, Lecture Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kennedy Finister on Friday April 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3120 at Auburn University taught by Elizabeth Brestan Knight in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Developmental Psychology in Psychlogy at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 04/22/16
Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 CHAPTER 17: Late Adulthood Physical and Cognitive Development US Demographics • 1 in 8 are over 65 • By 2050= 25% • Oldest old o 85 and over o fastest growing § life expectancy continues to increase, so more people are entering this group than leaving § doubled in the last 2 decades § still increasing Gerontologists Specialists who study aging Ageism • Prejudice & discrimination of older people o Behavioral interpretations o Negative attitudes about competence and attractiveness § Reflects in the way they’re treated § Gender double standard continues • Older women= unflattering terms • Aging men= maturity that enhances their status o Job discrimination o Becomes a self fulfilling prophecy that hinders their performance Aging Theories • Genetic programming theory o Our body’s DNA genetic code contains a build in time limit for the reproduction of human cells After a certain amount of time has gone by – determined genetically- the cells are no longer able to divide and the individual begins to deteriorate o “death gene” § genetic material contains a “death gene” that is programmed to direct the body to deteriorate and die Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 o Cells in the Body only can only duplicate a certain number of times § Throughout our lives new cells are being made through cell duplication to repair and replenish all of our various tissues and organs. According to this view the genetic instructions can only be read a certain number of times before ineligible. These incomprehensible cells stop producing and because the body is not being renewed at the same rate, people begin to experience bodily deterioration and ultimately death o Telomeres § Each time cells divide the telomeres (tiny protective areas of DNA at the tip of chromosomes) grow shorter. When a cell’s telomere has just about disappeared, the cell stops replicating, making it susceptible to damage and producing signs of aging • Wear- and Tear Theory o Mechanical functions of the body simply wear out with age, like cars do Fountain Of Youth • Telomere therapy o Telomeres grow shorter each time a cell divides and eventually disappear ending cell replication o Scientists believe that if telomeres can be lengthened, age- related problems could be slowed. • Reducing Free radicals with antioxidant Drugs o Free radicals are unstable molecules that are by-product of normal cell functioning that may drift through the body, damaging other cells and lead to aging o Drugs have yet to have been proven to be effective but in the mean time nutritionists urge a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins, which are found in fruits and vegies. • Restricting Calories o Researchers ran an experiment on Rats and found that the rats fed on an extremely low calorie intake (30-50% their normal intake) often lived up to 30% longer than bottle fed rats o Researchers hope to develop a drug that mimic the effects of calorie restriction without forcing people to feel hungry all the time Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 • Replacing Worn Out Organs o Removal of damaged or diseased organs and replacing them with better functioning ones o Transplants frequently fail because the body rejects the foreign tissue § To overcome this issue researchers suggest that the replacement organs be grown from a recipients cloned cells, thereby solving the rejection problem Physical Disorders • Osteoporosis o A condition in which the bone become brittle fragile and thin, often brought about by a lack of estrogen in the diet o Affects 25% of women over 60 o Primary cause of broken bones in the elderly o Largely preventable with a high calcium/protein diet o Can be treated with drugs • Arthritis o Inflammation of one or more joints o Afflicts roughly 50% of older people o Can cause painful swelling in various parts of the body an can be disabling § Suffers find themselves unable to carry out simple everyday tasks such as unscrewing a jar o Aspirin and other drugs can relieve some of the swelling and reduce pain but the condition cannot be cured • Hypertension o High blood pressure o Does not have many symptoms o Can result in deterioration of the blood vessels and heart and can raise a risk of cerebrovascular disease or stroke if left untreated Deadly Disorders • Due to long-term behavior patterns o Heart disease § Atherosclerosis § Hypertension § Stroke Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 o Cancer § Lung § Colon Psychological Health Problems • Major depression o Intense feelings of sadness, pessimism, hopelessness o Could be due to the fact that they suffer cumulative losses with the death of spouses and friends. Their own declining health and physical capabilities may make them feel less independent and in control • Drug induced psychosis o Brought about by combinations of drugs they may be taking for various medical conditions • Dementia o Most common mental disorder of the elderly o Covers several diseases each of which includes serious memory loss accompanied by declines in other mental functioning § Epilepsy § HIV § MS § Post brain irradiation § Alcohol related dementia § Hydrocephalus § Vascular dementia § Parkinson’s disease § Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s • Symptoms o Unusual forgetfulness § First sign o Memories effected o Total confusion o Loss of voluntary control of muscles and are bedridden § Final stages o Behavioral disturbances • Causes o Beta Amyloid Precursor Protein Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 § A protein that normally helps the production and growth of neurons. Goes awry producing large clumps of cells that trigger inflammation and deterioration of nerve cells. • Brain shrinks and several areas of the hippocampus and frontal and temporal lobes show deterioration. • Certain neurons die which leads to s shortage of various neurotransmitters o Don’t know what triggers it in the first place § Genetics (hereditary) § Non- genetic factors increase susceptibility • High blood pressure • diet § Viruses? Dysfunctions of the immune system? • Treatment o No cure o Deals only with symptoms o Medications § Anti-inflammatory drugs § Preservation of abilities o Caregiving § Independent living § Financial management § Treatment consent Cognitive Development • Intelligence declines with age o Misconception o Overall intelligence remains fairly stable • Testing Problems o Cohort effects § Influences attributable to growing up in a particular era o Longitudinal studies Slow Reaction Time • Peripheral Slowing Hypothesis o Theory suggesting that overall processing speed declines in the peripheral nervous system with increasing age Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 § PNS encompasses the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and brain and reach the extremities of the body o Takes longer for information from the environment to reach the brain and longer for commands from the brain to be transmitted to the body’s muscles • Generalized Slowing Hypothesis o Processing in all parts of the nervous system, including the brain, is less efficient o Slowing occurs throughout the body, including the processing of both simple and complex stimuli and the transmission of commands to the muscles of the body Schaie’s Study • Cross-sequential study o No uniform pattern of change for all intellectual abilities o Minimal declines until age 80 o Individual difference § Some begin to show declines in their 30s while some do not experience any until they are in their 70s. in fact a 1/3 of those in their 70s scored higher the avg young adult • Environmental And Cultural Difference o No chronic diseases o Higher SES o Intellectually stimulating environment o Flexible personality style o Marriage to bright spouse **ALL LISTED HELP PUT OFF DECLINE** What Can We Do? • Stimulation, practice and motivation can maintain mental abilities • Growth in cognitive abilities is related to improvements in practical intelligence and tasks with daily living • Plasticity o The degree to which a developing structure or behavior is susceptible to experience o Illustrate that there is nothing fixed about the changes that occur in intellectual abilities during late adulthood o “use it or lose it” Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 Memory • Episodic Memories o Relate to specific life experiences o Example: § Recalling the first year you visited new york city o LOST • Sematic Memory o General knowledge and facts o Examples: § 2+2=4 § Capital of the US o UNAFFECTED • Implicit Memory o Memories about which people are not consciously aware o Example: § How to ride a bike o UNAFFECTED • Short term Memory o LOST • Autobiographical Memory o Memories of information about one’s own life o Pollyanna Principle § Pleasant memories are more likely to be recalled than unpleasant ones § People tend to forget information about their past that is not congruent with the way they currently view themselves. They are more likely to make the material that they do recall “fit” their current conception of themselves • Example: o Strict parent who forgets that she got drunk at her high school prom • Why Does Memory Change? o Environmental Factors § Older people are more apt than younger ones to take the kinds of prescription drugs that hinder memory § Retirees, no longer facing intellectual challenges from their jobs may become less practiced in using memory § Motivation to recall info may be lower than previously accounting for lower performance on tasks involving memory Lecture 17 Notes April 19, 2016 o Information Deficits § Changes in information processing capabilities • Speed of information processing may decline § Older adults concentrate on new material less effectively than younger individuals and have greater difficulty paying attention to appropriate stimuli and organizing material in memory § Memory declines are due to changes in the ability to pay attention to and organize tasks involving memory skills § Less efficient to retrieve information from memory o Biological Factors § Memory changes are a result of brain and body deterioration § Declines in episodic memory may be related to the deterioration of the frontal lobes of the brain or reduction in estrogen § Some studies show a loss of cells in the hippocampus which is critical to memory Wellness in Late Adulthood • Depends on many factors o Genetics o Lifestyle o Economic well being o Psychological factors Promoting Good Health • Eat healthy • Exercise • Avoid threats to health o Smoking • Extend peoples active life spans


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