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Psychology, Week 9 Notes

by: Kelli Daniels

Psychology, Week 9 Notes Psyc 2010

Marketplace > Auburn University > Psychology (PSYC) > Psyc 2010 > Psychology Week 9 Notes
Kelli Daniels
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About this Document

These notes cover the different ages (birth, adolescence, adulthood) and the aging process.
Intro to Psychology
Seth A Gitter
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelli Daniels on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 2010 at Auburn University taught by Seth A Gitter in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 10/13/16
Psychology | Week 9 Monday, October 10, 2016 Adolescence  Begins at puberty o 11 girls; 13 boys  Egocentrism; imaginary audience; personal fable  Primary and secondary sex characteristics develop o Primary: sperm production, gonads, uterus o Secondary: breasts, muscles, body shape  Neuronal connections increase until puberty and then pruning begins.  Developing Morality o Kohlberg: development of moral reasoning stages  “Should a person steal medicine to save a loved one’s life?”  Basic Levels of Morality o Preconventional Morality: before age 9, children show morality to avoid punishment or gain rewards o Conventional Morality: by early adolescence, social rules and laws are upheld for their own sake o Postconventional Morality: Affirms people’s agreed upon rights or follows personally perceived ethics principles  See Social Development on canvas  Parent and Peer Influence o Forming an identity o Becoming Independent o Relating to parents o Peer approval Emerging Adulthood  18-25 years old  College, work, leaving home, average age of marriage – mid 20’s  Difficult to break down into stages of development  Peak of physical development: 20 years old Middle Adulthood  Muscular strength, reaction time, sensory abilities and cardiac output begin to decline after the mid-twenties.  Around age 50, women go through menopause, and men experience decreased levels of hormones and fertility Marriage and Family  Most people marry or have a family union  High expectations for marriage  Successful marriage o Emotional closeness o Positive communication (Gottman; 5-1 ratio) o Agreement on basic values and expectations o Willingness to accept and support changes in partner o Happier, live longer, and subjective well-being higher than unmarried adults o Midlife crisis: myth; not age but circumstances o Commitments  Love – one person at a time 2  Divorce rate  Work Aging Body  Potential lifespan for the human body is estimated to be about 122 years  Life expectancy refers to the average expected life span  More aged women o The rise in life expectancy, combined with declining birth rates, means a higher percentage of the world’s population is old o More elderly people are women because more men die than women at every age. By age 100, women outnumber men by a ratio of 5 to 1.  Nurture/Environment o An accumulation of stress, damage, and disease wears us down until one of these factors kills us.  Genes o Some people have genes that protect against some kinds of damage o Even with great genes and environment, telomeres (the tips at the end of chromosomes) wear down with every generation of cell duplication and we stop healing well. Wednesday, October 12, 2016 Physical Changes with Age The following abilities decline as we age:  Visual acuity, both sharpness and brightness  Hearing, especially sensing higher pitch 3  Reaction time and general motor abilities  Neural processing speed, especially for complex and novel tasks Exercise can slow the aging process  Builds muscles and bones o Women: do light weight lifting  Stimulate neurogenesis (in the hippocampus) and new neural connections o Hippocampus: memory  Maintain telomeres  Improves cognition  Reduce the risk of dementia Changes in the Brain with Age  Myelin-enhanced neural processing speed peaks in the teen years, and declines thereafter o Myelin-sheaths: speeds up information  peaks in teen years  Regions of the brain related to memory begin to shrink  The frontal lobes atrophy, leading to decreased inhibition and self-control o Decision making, planning, reasoning abilities, self- control  By age 80, a healthy brain is about 5 percent lighter than a brain in middle adulthood  Anything that stimulates the brain (Sudoku, etc.) helps Cognitive Development and Memory 4  Even without the brain changes of dementia, there are some changes in our ability to learn, process, and recall information. o Recall: remembering number of childhood best friend  The ability to recognize information, and to use previous knowledge as expertise, does not decline with age. o Recognize: given a list of vocab words  Rote memorization ability declines more than ability to learn meaningful information  Prospective memory, planning to recall (“I must remember to do…”) also declines.  The ability to learn new skills declines less than the ability to learn new information. Psychosocial Development  Although the “midlife crisis” may not be a function of age, people do feel pressures by a “social clock” of achievement expectation.  Erik Erikson  Social clock o Expectations that “I should be doing this by this time” o What do you think of when you think of a midlife crisis? o Current research indicates midlife crisis aren’t as common as they seem  Only 1 in 4 adults report experiencing a life crisis 5  Of these individuals, they report that the trigger is not age but a major event  Common misconception: divorce and suicide peak during middle age  Divorce most common in those in their twenties  Suicide peaks in 80’s and 90’s o The “right time” to leave home, get a job, get married  Defined by culture and time period o How has the social clock changed over time?  People are getting married later  Being supported by parents for longer o What implications might this have? Challenges of Healthy Adulthood Intimacy  Pair-bonding is a trademark of the human animal o Typically fall in love with and commit to one person at a time o Evolutionarily adaptive: parents who cooperate and share the burden of raising children are more likely to have healthy children to pass on their genes.  What might be some implications if people were not monogamous and did not engage in pair-bonding? o Our culture would look very different; we would have very different ideas about what the family unit looks like o Different social ideas of what is or isn’t acceptable 6  40% of married adults report being “very happy”, compared to 23% of non-committed adults o Does marriage correlate with happiness because support and intimacy breed happiness, or because happy people are more likely to marry and stay married?  Neighborhoods with high marriage rates typically have low rates of social pathologies (e.g. crime, delinquency, and emotional disorder among children) Generativity  What is one of the first questions (non-student) adults ask one another when they first meet? o What do you do? (especially for males)  Much of adulthood is defined by the answer to this question  Happiness correlates with having work that fits your interests, even if it’s unrelated to your undergraduate degree. 7


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