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Lecture 2

PSY3128 Lecture 2: PSY3128- Lecture 2

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Patrick Davidson

PSY3228- PSYCHOLOGY OF AGING CLASS 2- May 3 rd Chapter 2: Models of Development: Nature and Nurture in Adulthood Key concepts in the study of the lifespan Life span perspective: emphasizes continuity of development from childhood to old age Contextual influences: Life span change is a function of nature and nurture Developmental science: Need to look at multiple factors in development 1. Nature vs nurture interaction between nature and nurture, organism (person) vs. Context Concept of Niche-picking: aware of environment Reciprocity principal: People influence and are influenced by the events in their lives 2. Psychological models Grand, over-arching theories of Psychology of Aging are… • Rare: how the mind goes to adulthood and ages • Often not supported by data • Too vague/imprecise • Too difficult to falsify • Too broad • Therefore, we will work piecemeal, domain-by-domain Erikson’s psychological theory Epigenetic principle • Each stage unfolds from the precious stage in predestined order, but • People may experience a psychosocial issue at an age other that the one shown where it crosses the diagonal. Terror management theory • We fear death and so we distance ourselves from older adults (who remind us of our mortality) • Does this motivate all of our behavior, without our awareness? • A more constant, quantitative influence? • Does terror get weaker or stronger as we get older? Qualitative changes over stages? Steady changes and influences • on us, personality, frontal lobe functions, constantly changing 3. Biological models Programmed aging theories: Propose that aging and death are built into the hard-wiring of all organisms and therefore are part of the genetic code. • Species live to different maximum ages (lifespan) • “good genes gone bad” theory: evolution has selected for species that are vigorous through the period of optimal sexual reproduction and then are less important once that period is passed ex: APOE • Replicative senescence: the loss of the ability of cells to reproduce • The telomere theory of aging: According to the telomere theory, each cell replication reduces the length of telomeres until the chromosome’s tips are no longer protected. Q: Do we need to age biologically? 4. “Plasticity” Plasticity: course of development may be altered depending on nature of individual’s interactions with environment Podcast: Do We really want to live forever young? – NAD molecule controls the longevity of us but as we get older ex: 50 we produce half of what we used to with this molecule. Chapter 3: The Study of Adult Development and Aging: Research Methods 1. Basics of research methods Why bother with all this? 2 • Anecdotes and folk wisdom • What happens to learning abilities in aging? o You’re never too old to learn! o You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! •Control bias: how we set up our statistical test •Careful when we do our study •P-hack: p values when doing a statistic test, see where the significant is, false positive •Publication bias: results that are boring not novel, doesn't make sense, doesn't prevail the dominant hypothesis 2. Designs 1. Experimental: we manipulate a variable and measure its effect on another variable – there’s correlations • Most direct way to test a hypothesis About a cause-effect relationship between variables. • Experimenter controls one variable IV- independent variable o Hypothesized to cause effect on another variable • The other is observed and measured: dependent o Usually behavior, hypothesize to be affected • All other variables held constant: control • Make sure there’s is only one thing different (your variable of interest) between experimental and control groups • Confound: another variable you didn’t notice or control that provides an alternative explanation for your findings, so something that might be working. • If you’ve done a good job, can make inferences about causality, something you might want to include can be PLACEBO • Random assignment: randomly assign treatment 3 • Blinding: minimize expectancy by eliminating knowledge about experimental conditions o Single and double blind studies o Double blind procedure: participants and staff are ignorant about whether the participants are in the
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