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PSY 213 Study Notes 2.docx

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PSY 304
Shavin Malhotra

Chapter 6: Attention and Perceptual Processes Information Processing Model - Uses a computer metaphor to explain how people process stimuli - Just like a computer, info enters the system (people’s brains) and is transformed, coded, and stored in various ways - Info enters storage temporarily until it is stored more permanently like on a disc - Based on three assumptions: (1) people are active participants in the process. (2) Both quantitative (how much info is remembered) and qualitative (what kinds of info is remembered) aspects of info are examined - Information is processed through a series of stages or stores - Three questions: (1) are there age differences in storage? (2) is there evidence for age difference (3) age differences in processing? Working Memory: - System responsible for processing and temporary storage of info - Used in all cognitive tasks including comprehension - Assumed to have limited capacity to do processing and storage Cognitive Factors in Aging - Knowledge is preserved - Context is beneficial - But processing, working memory, speed of processing, and attention less efficient - Cognitive consequences if sensory/ motor abilities are reduced Sensory Memory - Earliest step in information processing, where new info is first registered - Takes in a large amount of info rapidly, no limit - Age differences in sensory memory are not common - Older adults can efficiently retrieve info briefly represented in sensory memory Attention: - Separable dimensions - Influenced by capacity to direct/sustain attention and speed of processing - Age-related decline affects cognitive functions Selective Attention: the way in which we choose the information we will process further - Selectivity in attention means that our ability to process information is limited - Some info selected out for further processing - Age differences tested by performing a task with distracters. If people demonstrate a decrease in speed or accuracy, it is suggested that there is difficulty filtering out distractors - Visual Search: search for a target letter among a number of distracters (number of trials, central cross in the center to focus on, and if a mistake, computer sounds a tone) - Involve responding to a stimulus, the target and ignoring everything else, the non- targets - Performance on visual search tasks is measured by reaction time, how quickly people respond and the accuracy, the number of errors they make. - Spatial Cuing- the procedure in which the location of a future stimulus is shown on the screen. - Spatial cuing is used to rule out aging differences, as older people may eventually find it more difficult to find location of target among non-targets. - Attention Switching- focusing on two different things at various times - Age differences appear as the time between switching between different modalities increases - Age decrements in selectivity appear to be greatest when tasks are complex and when little information is available to assist performance - One hypothesis is that older adults have fewer processing resources, or available attention - Older adults have more task irrelevant thoughts during processing and have trouble keeping them out of their minds - More difficulty selecting information when relevant information is of the same modality as irrelevant information. Craik Experiment - Blocking, 2 tasks: (1) do these words match (ex. Bird, flamingo) (2) generate words (ex. Fish that start with S) - Trials switched up, or repeated - Older people will pay more attention to tasks which are repetitive, not ones which change - Elderly have more difficulty using strategies (have difficulty self-initiating) Attending to Multiple Stimuli: Attentional Capacity: the amount of information that can be processed at a time Attention Span: ability to maintain attention over time Divided Attention: the ability to successfully perform more than one task at a time or by testing multiple object tracking Multiple Object Tracking: the ability to attend to the position of multiple target items as they move. - Older adults report that dividing attention among a combinations of activities becomes more difficult with age - Age differences on divided-attention tasks can be minimized if older adults are given extensive practice is performing the tasks and reducing the demands on attention - Divided attention does not change with age - However, older adults are less able to divide attention among two complex tasks at the same time Vigilance/ Sustained Attention: the ability to sustain attention on a task for a long period of time - Vigilance performance is age- related - Vigilance decrement- not age related - Fitness levels important to old but not young - Level of uncertainty affect older but not young Attentional Resources: how many resources you have to pay attention to a stimulus/ focus attention or divide attention Automatic Processes: are those that are fast, reliable and insensitive to increased cognitive demands (eg. Performing other tasks) - Elderly people need a significant amount of practice for a process to become automatic - Type of task affects how well an elderly person will perform - Why do these differences occur? - Automatic Attention Response: the processing of a specific and well- trained stimulus, such as a target letter, can automatically capture attention (process captures attention, eg. Your name being heard) - 2 conclusions: (1) age differences are greatest when older adults need to perform complex tasks (especially more than one at a time) (2) decrements are localized where various pieces of information are picked up separately to figure out what the display is. Attention Span: ability to maintain attention over time Automatic Processing- minimal demands on attention processing resources (quick, fast, does not require alot of thinking) Effortful Processing- uses all available attentional capacity (takes longer, ex. Learning new tasks) Speed of Processing: can be viewed as a reflection of how quickly and efficiently these early steps in information processing are completed - Researchers use three types of tasks to study rapid responses to events. 1. Simple Reaction Time Tasks: involves responding to one stimulus, such as pressing a button as fast as possible every time a light comes on - the biggest age difference is the amount of time needed to decide to push the button 2. Choice Reaction Time Tasks: offer more than one stimulus and require a different response to each. - Older people are significantly slower at choice reaction tasks 3. Complex Reaction Time Tasks: most difficult time tasks which involves making many decisions about when and how to respond - older adults get worse at these tasks as they become more complex. Processing Speed - mental processing speed is sensitive to aging Driving and Accident Prevention - driving a car involves bombarding sensory memory with vast amounts of info, directing attention to some of it, and having excellent psychomotor speed - Human Factors: the field of study concerned with designing living and working environments - Human factors professionals deal with making such things as websites, layouts, nursing homes more accessible for people, and meet the needs of older people Driving and Highway Safety as Information Processing - older drivers extent of UFOV (useful field of vision) is limited at first glance - UFOV predictor for 13% of accidents, 5% acuity - Not age results per-se but due to decreased skills - Half of Canadians over 65 drive a motor vehicle, 46% in cities, 60% in rural areas - Old drivers aged 80 and up are most likely to be involved in collisions, and those involved in collisions are more likely to die from injuries - Certain changes in hearing, vision and information processing cause problems for elders - Changes in light and dark adaptation - Trouble reading highway signs, difficulty seeing the road, problems reaching the seatbelt - Difficulty inhibiting information could result in difficulties sorting benign situation from potentially dangerous ones - Difficulties backing up, changing lanes, turning properly, and yielding the right of way - Some of these symptoms may be more typical of a dementing illness than old age Highway Accidents - Increased age is not cause, but rather decreased or impaired skills are often causal factors - Dobbs suggests refocusing attention on not only older drivers, but those who are medically at risk also - Additional problems due to prescription and non- prescription. Because meds have side effects that could impair sensory, perceptual, and reaction time processes - Stress the importance of specialized training programs; based on sensory, perceptual, physical and reaction time processes - Intensive retraining and driver education courses benefit elders (long-term training, two years is most effective) Home Safety and Accident Prevention - most important home problem is falls - changes in vestibular system and combinations of changes of muscular and skeletal system - must take a balanced approach at minimizing risk by developing better designs, instituting better assessment of cognitive abilities involved and educating people about hazards. - Decline in sensory and information processing skills are responsible for age- related increases in some types of accidents. Language Processing - Language processing is an important part of information processing - Understanding what is said in a conversation, being able to read a note, and being able to respond allow us to interact - Once info registered in sensory memory it is processed for meaning, which gives us the ability to make a linguistic decision Language Comprehension - Language comprehension is based on visual and auditory input - Can influence how well or easily we understand language - Vision, changes in light can affect how well we read words or letters - Hearing, changes in pitch perception may alter how we hear sounds Understanding Speech - Being able hear is an important part of understanding speech - Speech understanding not usually affected until later in life - Middle-aged, and young-old adults may have trouble understanding sounds such as s, ch, sh which involve pitches (hearing damage may make this more problematic) - Speech recognition measured by presenting listener with a list of spondee words: 2 syllable words with equal emphasis on both syllables (birthday, baseball) - Speech discrimination tested with monosyllabic words - Studies have shown an age-related decrement in both speech recognition and discrimination - Age differences more evident when listening situation is difficult (speech embedded with noise) - Fuller, interested in whether older adults had difficulty with fast paced speech because of acoustic distortions, cognitive slowing or interaction of both. - Speeding up speech had the same effect on young and old - Increasing pitch and shortening transitions between sounds showed greatest age difference - Changes in auditory processing largely responsible for older adults comprehending fast speech Language Comprehension and Information Processing - Craik and Byrd claim that age- related differences in language processing result in less richly encoded info that makes information less memorable - Information processing abilities are compromised by less attentional capacity, drops in processing speed, and changes in working memory Richness and Effectiveness of Encoding - If you have to memorize something; easier to memorize something which you have many links with; lots of knowledge about - If affected in old age; the way knowledge is structured could make it harder to keep connections in tact - Processes by which connections are made could change with age Encoding Deficits - Extensive encoding underlies the ability to retrieve information - Info richly encoded is more easily retrieved - Test this through a lexical decision task - No age-differences in knowledge - Issue: adults do not take advantage of contextual cues when they encode information - Rabinowitz, Craik et all believe that older adults do not tend to create distinctive context- specific encoding but use the same approach each time - Adults often use context- specific info at encoding and in naming words Chapter 7: Memory - Includes 3 main processes: encoding, storage and retrieval Encoding: the process of getting information into the memory system Storage: the manner in which information is represented and kept in memory Retrieval: getting back info out of memory Working Memory: the active processes and structures involved in holding info in mind and simultaneously using it to solve problem, make a decision, or learn new information - Plays an active critical role in encoding storage and retrieval - Sometimes seen as a separate store or a umbrella term for many small short term stores and processes - Small capacity - Only works with info we are paying attention to - Greater age-related decline in working memory, especially in multiple tasks (Foos) - Likely due to a decline in effort, self- initiation and strategic behaviour - Salthouse et al argue that loss of ability to hold info in working memory may limit overall cognitive functioning - Many propose working memory is necessary for understanding language, processing, reason, and memory - Working memory is where info gets meaning - Salthouse, differences in working memory could be related to older peoples slower ability to process info - Some evidence suggest working memory differences is related to the type of task, gender and life experiences - Age differences in working memory relate to performance on more complex tasks Long Term Memory: the ability to remember extensive amounts of information from a few seconds to a few hours to decades - Large- capacity store that holds info for a long time - Can be divided into separate divisions Explicit Memory: the deliberate and conscious remembering of info learned and remembered at a specific time Declarative Memory: memory for facts and events Episodic Memory: general class of memory having to do with the conscious recollection of info from a specific event or time (ex. Learning info in text, to recall it in a test) Semantic Memory: concerns the learning and remembering of the meaning of words and concepts that are not tied to specific occurrences of events in time. (ex. Recalling word definitions for crossword puzzle) Limited Capacity: 7+- 2, about 7 chunks, ex. Phone number Chunking - Improves short term memory - Use patterns, knowledge to combine units into a chunk - Area codes (416) - Limit still 7 plus or minus 2 Age Differences in Episodic Memory - Episodic memory studied through recall and recognition tasks - Recall- involves remembering info without hints or cues - Recognition- involves selecting previously learned info among several items - Adults over the age of 60 do not do as well as younger adults on tests of episodic memory recall (omit more info, include more intrusions, and repeat more previously recalled items) - On recognition tasks, differences between younger and older adults are smaller, but more likely to accept never seen items especially if they share conceptual meaning - Differences can be reduced through practice, using material more familiar to older adults, using compensatory strategies - Conclude: older adults apparently disadvantaged when faced with rapid- paced, disorganized information Age Differences in Semantic Memory - Semantic memory preserved in late adulthood because it does not tax working memory - More deficits in retrieving - Show more tip of the tongue problems Remote Memory: (tertiary memory) information that must be kept for a very long time (few hours to years) Includes facts learned early and experiences Autobiographical Memory: involves remembering information and events from one owns life - Retention function- for the 20-30 most recent years of a persons life will have better memory for people and events - Reminiscence bump-by middle age more likely to retrieve memories from when you were 10- 30 - Infantile amnesia- small number of memories remembered from very early childhood - Piolino reasoned that recent memories are episodic and will show age decrements (retention function), but older memories become semanticized into a permastore virtually permanent memories (reminiscence bump) Flashbulb memories - Historical or great personal relevant event - Unusual or very novel - Usually highly emotional - Also involve personal autobiographical memories Implicit Memory - A facilitation or change in task performance that is attributable to having been exposed to info at some earlier time but does not involve active, explicit memory (ex. Language task) - No or significantly small differences in age related differences of in implicit memory - More significant differences found in perceptually and conceptually based implicit memory tasks Sources of Age Differences in Memory Age Differences in Encoding and Retrieval - Research suggests an age-related decrement in encoding processes - Elaborative rehearsal- involves making connections between incoming information and information already known (linking types to concepts, ex. Ostrich to flightless bird) - Older people have more difficulty making connections in elaborative rehearsal tasks than younger adults Using Strategies Strategies: techniques which make a task easier and increase the efficiency of storage - Evidence suggest that older people do not spontaneously organize info or establish meaningful links to knowledge as well as young people - 35% of old compared to 49% of young use strategies for encoding The Emerging Role of Automatic Retrieval - Jacoby et al have found that memory situations involve both automatic and deliberate processes - There are no age- related differences in automatic retrieval Misinformation and Memory Source Memory: the ability to remember the sources of a familiar event and the ability to determine whether an event was imagined or experienced False Memory: is memory of items or events that did not occur - Older adults are less accurate at a number of source memory tasks including recalling and recognizing the contextual features of events - Old adults tend to show an even greater degree of false memories Discourse Memory - Are there age differences in memory of structured info that relates to prior knowledge (most evident in text/discourse) - Situation model-people use their knowledge to construct a more global understanding of what the text is about Text Based Levels - Question is if there is age related differences at each level of text - When text is clearly organized, with emphasis on structure and main ideas, older adults are similar to young as they recall main ideas rather than details - Older adults affected by rapid presentation, unpredictable unorganized material, and material dense in propositions (logical statements of fact) - More difficulty identifying or inhibiting less important details - Benefits from prior knowledge - Age related differences when speed is removed - If new info contradicts, recall is impaired *girls better with narratives, boys better with instructions (procedural) - elders are worse at memory for words, but no changes in pictures Situation Model - Both young and older adults construct situation models similarly, but are slower in their reading times, and memorization - The way in which older people stories tend to be more interesting, and engaging Text Variables - Some info is basic and given prominence in outline; other info simply expands main points and is embedded in the outline - Well- organized text the ideas are inter-related, and are usually more memorable - Learning about new and familiar diseases, old people learned less info than younger regardless of how familiar or how it was tested - Both groups learn less about familiar diseases than new Text Memory and Episodic Memory - Both affected by similar variables including pacing, prior knowledge, familiarity and organization of materials Memory in Everyday Life Spatial Memory: Memory of Location - Shown an array, reconstruct array- adults do not perform task as well - Old chess players reconstruct chess boards worse than young chess players regardless of knowledge base - Some studies say that there is no difference due to familiarity effect, no decline when you are familiar with context, location (ex. Household) - Contextual cues improve performance in younger and older adults (may reduce demand on memory capacity) - Getting participants to collect a list of groceries in a familiar and unfamiliar grocery store, older better in familiar, youth performed equally Recall of Landmarks - Young adults are more likely to organize their recall of familiar downtown area based on spatial cues, which gives them an advantage in recalling correct location - Older adults recall is influenced by frequency of usage, symbolic significance, natural landscaping, ease of finding the landmark and uniqueness of artitecture - Older less able to locate environmental features - Elders more likely to use experiential or personal relevance as a way to remember location, where as young may use physical cues Route Learning - Testosterone plays a role in better spatial and navigational abilities of men - Lipman: sequential route processing is constrained on limits of cognitive capacity with advancing age - Wilkniss et all, reported that although older adults have greater difficulty ordering landmarks they are equally as good recognizing landmarks on route - May be even better at every-day route following, could be due to familiarity of environments Memory of Activities - Tested by variety of tasks, including following instructions, recalling activities in research lab and remembering to perform tasks - Young adults remember more about the activities they performed and the order they were performed in - Decrements due to the amount of cognitive resources/effort to recall information Prospective Memory - Refers to the memory or remembering of future intentions (ex. Take meds) - Studies have shown that older adults do have the cognitive ability to remember to take meds compared to middle-aged who often forget due to busy lifestyles - Differences depends on difficulty of task - Motivational effect (motivation to complete tasks) may compensate for age-related differences and produce superior results among old versus young Memory of Pictures - Older adults perform worse than younger adults in remembering many types of pictorial stimuli - Do not remember faces, where objects are placed as well as young - Older people more likely to use schemas to fill in the blanks Self Evaluations of Memory Abilities Age Differences in Metamemory Metamemory: knowledge about how memory works and what we believe to be true about it - Explore differences mainly through questionnaires - Older adults seem to know less that younger about the internal workings of memory and its capacity - View memory as less stable, expect that it will deteriorate and perceive they have lost control of memory The Role of Memory Self-Efficacy - The belief that one will be able to perform a specific task - Specifically belief in how well or poorly they remember things - Those who believe that memory declines with age will show age-related decrements - Those who use memory successfully will have strong memory self-efficacy - Those who show failure will show decrements in memory Age Differences in Memory Monitoring - Is the awareness of what we are doing with our memory right now - Task- getting people to predict how well they will do on a memory task - Without experience of the task, older people tend to overestimate performance - With experience, no age differences, overestimate performance on recall, and underestimate recognition Clinical Issues and Memory Testing Normal and Abnormal Memory Aging - Functional perspective; how changes disrupt person’s ability to perform daily living tasks - Diseases including dementias are marked by drastic changes in memory - Alzheimers: progressive destruction of memory beginning with most recent memory - Wernick-Korsakoff Syndrome: involves major loss of recent memory and sometimes total inability to perform new memories - With precise neuroimaging techniques, more accurate knowledge, diagnosis and treatments Memory and Mental Health Depression- characterized by feelings of helplessness and hopelessness - Those with mood disorders or PTSD show decreased ability to learn and recall information, tendency to leave out important info, organize, less effective memory strategies, increased sensitivity to sad memories, decreased psychomotor speed - Negative effects of depression are greater in young then old, however few differences exist Dementia- involves substantial decline in cognitive performance that may be irreversible and untreatable (includes Alzheimers) - Alzheimer disease characterized by severe and pervasive memory impairment that is progressive and irreversible (include entire memory system) Clinical Memory Tests 1) Neuropsychological Tests - Use six criteria for a multiphaesic assessment - Designed to test specifc brain behaviour relations in a wide variety of domains, from general intelligence to particular aspects of memory - Wechsler Memory Scale: designed to examine aspects of verbal memory - Memory for Designs Test- visual memory - These tests should always be accompanied with health screenings 2) Behavioural and Self-Report Assessments of Memory Problems - Having people perform tasks or report about memory 3) Rating Scales - Instruments designed to assess memory from the viewpoint of an observer, usually a mental health professional - Important in evaluating the clinical significance of memory impairment - Structured interviews, mental status exams Memory Nutrition and Drugs - Most common drug is alcohol - Alcoholic Dementia - Sedatives and tranquilizers have been found to impair memory Remediating Memory Problems Training Memory Skills - EIEIO framework combines explicit and implicit memory with two types of aids, internal and external aids - Explicit memory- conscious and intentional recollection of info - Implicit memory- effortless and unconscious recollection of info - External aids- memory aids that rely on environmental resources (notebooks, agendas, calenders) - Internal aids- memory aids that rely on mental processes such as imagery - Framework helps organize how the two types of memory can be combined with the two types of memory aids to provide a broad range of intervention options to help people remember Exercising Memory - Viewing memory as a mental muscle - Uses repetitive practice and specific memory exercises - Beneficial because it provides comfort in knowing something is being done about conditions, and does result in improvements Memory Drugs - Tends to be modest, short term, no long term changes Chapter 8: Intelligence The Big Picture: Life-Span View - Intelligence consists of many different types of skills - No simple generic type of intelligence - Baltes: identify four concepts - (1) Multidimensional: specifying many domains of intellectual ability - (2) Mulitdirectionality: the distinct patters of change in abilities over the life span; these patterns are different for different abilities - (3) Plasticity: the range of functioning within a person and the conditions under which a person’s abilities can be modified within a specific age range - (4) Interindividual Variability: acknowledges that adults differ in the direction of their intellectual development - Propose a dual component model of intellectual functioning: (1) mechanics of intelligence- concerns the neurophysiological architecture of the mind (basic forms of thinking including reasoning, spatial orientation, or perceptual speed) (2) Pragmatic Intelligence- concerns acquired bodies of knowledge available from and embedded within culture (verbal knowledge, wisdom, practical problem solving) Research Approaches to Intelligence - Psychometric Approach (Shaie and Horn)- measuring intelligence as performance on standardized tests (by tests that specifically test a certain skill) - Cognitive- Structural Approach- addresses the ways in which people conceptualize and solve problems rather than scores on a test - Emphasize developmental changes in the modes and styles of thinking Measuring Intelligence - Structure of intelligence like a hierarchy - Lowest level consists of individual test questions (the specific items answered on an intelligence test) - Second level- items are organized into tests - Third Level- Primary Mental Abilities: reflects relations between performances on intelligence tests - Fourth Level- Secondary Mental Abilities: reflects relations between the primary mental abilities - Top- general intelligence refers to the relations between the third- order abilities Primary Mental Abilities 5 Mental Abilities: Numerical Facility: the basic skills underlying one’s mathematical reasoning Word Fluency: how easily one can produce verbal descriptions of things Verbal Meaning: vocabulary ability Inductive Reasoning: the ability to extrapolate from particular facts to general concepts Spatial Orientation: the ability to reason in the three-dimensional world in which we live 2 Info-Processing Abilities: Perceptual Speed: the ability to rapidly and accurately find visual details and make comparisons Verbal Memory: the ability to store and recall meaningful language units Age-Related Changes in Primary Abilities - Info- processing abilities such as perceptual speed and verbal memory are considered the most basic and are tied to neuropsychological functioning - Mental abilities are products of acquired information and underlie meaningful activities in a person’s daily life - Schaie’s studies conclude that people tend to improve in verbal meaning, spatial skills, and reasoning until 40-60s - Number and word fluency peak and begin modest decline at age 50 (world fluency showing steeper decline) - Word meaning declines last(70s-80s, but very steeply) - Results favour continuity of mental abilities until later life - Only a small amount decline on all abilities - Abilities typical of mechanics, (Baltes) including reasoning, verbal memory, spatial orientation, and perceptual speed, typically show pattern of decline during adulthood and some acceleration of decline during old age. - Pragmatic abilities such as verbal meaning or ability and numerical ability tend to remain stable or even increase up to the 60s and 70s. Little or no age decrements occur before age 74. Secondary Mental Abilities Fluid Intelligence: consists of the abilities that make you a flexible and adaptive thinker, allow you to draw inferences and enable you to understand the relations between concepts independent of acquired knowledge and experience. - Reflects the abilities needed to understand and respond to any situation but especially new ones such as integration, inductive reasoning and abstract thinking - Ex. What comes next d f i m r x e Crystallized Intelligence: is the knowledge you have acquired through life experience and education in a particular culture - Includes your breadth of knowledge, comprehension of communication, judgement, and sophistication with info - Ability to remember facts, definitions, sports trivia info Visual Organization: dimension is indicated by primary mental abilities such as visualizations, spatial orientation speed of closure, and flexibility of closure - Measured by tests such as gestalt closure (identify a figure in which parts have been omitted), form board (show how cut out parts fit together) and embedded figures (find figure within a set of geometric lines) Auditory Organization: dimension of primary abilities including temporal tracking, auditory cognition of relations, speech perceptions under distraction/distortion - Tasks include repeated tones (identify first occurrence of a tone when it occurs several times) Tonal series (indicate which tone comes next in a series of orderly tones) Cafeteria Noise (identify a word amid surrounding noise) Short Term Acquisition and Retrieval: this ability comprises processes of becoming aware and processes of retaining info long enough to do something with it - Span memory, associative memory, and meaningful memory Long Term Storage and Retrieval: indicates facility in storing information and retrieving information that was acquired in the distant past - The dimension mainly represents processes for forming encoding associations for long term storage and using these associations, or forming new ones, at the time of retrieval  Fluid intelligence declines significantly through adulthood (may be related to underlying changes in the brain from effects of disease, injury and injurty)  Crystallized intelligence improves  There are individual differences in both types of intelligence Moderators of Intellectual Change - Gains in experienced processes but losses in information- processing abilities - Losses are viewed as an inevitable results of the decline of physiological processes with age - Cohort differences, educational level, social variables, personality, health and lifestyle, mindlessness, and relevancy and appropriateness of tasks are modifiers of intellectual development Cohort Differences - More recent- born cohorts score better than earlier- born cohorts on verbal meaning, spatial orientation, and inductive reasoning - Trends reflect better educational opportunities- compulsory education, better lifestyle and nutrition and improved health - Importance of education for intellectual development may account for cohort differences - More highly educated people tend to adopt lifestyles which maintain cognitive ability Information Processing - Perceptual speed accounts for the most share of age related decline in both fluid and crystallized intelligence - Working memory declines with age which accounts for poor performance - Age related perceptual slowing and decreased processing capacity interferes with older adults’ ability to suppress irrelevant inappropriate information - Becomes less efficient and effective Social and Lifestyle Variables - Job; the extent that a job requires you to use certain cognitive abilities may result in a lesser likelihood of declines with age - Occupations which require complex thought and independent judgement raise the level of people’s intellectual functioning, whereas jobs that don’t decrease intellectual functioning - Lengthy marriage to a well educated and intelligent spouse - Exposure to stimulating environments - Use of cultural and educational resources throughout adulthood Personality - Higher self efficacy related to higher capacity - People who have flexible attitudes midlife tend to have less decline in intellectual competence than those who were more rigid - Openness/Intellect linked to a tendency to find cognitive exploration and complexity rewarding- high ratings on tests linked to higher scores in crystallized and fluid intelligence Health - General health and functioning a more important predictor of cognitive functioning that chronological age - Normative changes in the brain affect functioning (alzheimer’s and head injuries) - The more extensive the damage, the more significant the impairment - Studies shown that those who decline in inductive reasoning ability had significantly more illness diagnoses and doctors visits for cardio vascular disease - Severe hypertension may actually have positive effect on intellectual functioning - Current health symptoms, depression and anxiety associated with perceptual speed - Visual and auditory acuity related to fluid intelligence (might be why we see a decline as we age) Relevancy and Appropriateness of Tasks - Tasks are irrelevant to older adults, argue that new tests are needed based on the issues adults typically face - Need to understand what adults face daily in their activities - Everyday tasks include understanding labels, reading street maps, understanding charts or schedules, filling out forms, reading the newspaper etc - But in studies tests ability to perform these tasks, youth still performed bettwe Modifying Primary Abilities - Training has helped reduce decline PROJET ADEPT - Training studies including two levels of intervention - First level: minimal direct training and had test familiarity as a goal (tests given several times over) - Second level: training involved interventions tailored specifically to each of the primary abilities tested (ability specific) - Ability specific training resulted in better improvements in primary abilities - But ability to maintain and transfer varied - Long- term and broad transfer strongest in figural relations, training effects found for reasoning, attention and memory but effects did not transfer to new tasks OTHERS - Schaie and Willis found that cognitive training could reverse declines reliably - But effects were largely ability specific; gains were largest when training matched the ability being tested - Training procedures even enhances performance of many older people - Noice et al. Differences in ability after being enrolled in performing arts class or passive art appreciation class - Those in theatre arts performed better LONG TERM EFFECTS - Older people continue to benefit from cognitive intervention as they move from young to old age - No one is too old to benefit from training - Training slows down the rates of decline in fluid ability - There is plasticity in fluid knowledge Qualitative Differences in Adults’ Thinking 1. Piaget’s Theory - Intellectual development is adaptation through activity - Development of intelligence stems from emergence of increasingly complex cognitive structures - Four Stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational Formal Operational Period - Acquisition of formal operational thought in adolescence marks the beginning of adult thought - Way of conceiving abstract concepts and thinking about them in a very systematic way - Thought governed by generalized logical structure that provides solutions to problems that people have never seen or encountered - Hypotheticodeductive thought- involves forming a hypothesis and testing it until it is either confirmed or rejected - Formal operational thought is aimed at resolving ambiguity; the answer is the goal - When more than one answer, people search for clarification Developmental Trends in Piagetian Thought - One problem is that people do not attain formal operations - Only 60-75% of adolescents care solve any formal operational problems, and 30% of adults never complete this level of thought - Completion of level tends to only be found in those who are highly trained or specialized - No evidence for age- related differences Going Beyond Piaget: Post Formal Thought - Moral problems - Example in book about wife who needed expensive drug, should husband steal with it - When this and similar problems are presented to different ages there are differences in responses - Adolescents show formal operational responses and search for the correct answer - Adults answer show a combination of logic, emotion and tolerance for ambiguity - Not necessarily a decline in thinking, but rather a qualitatively different way of thinking Developmental Progressions in Adult Thought - Reigal argued that formal operations was limited in its applicability to adults - New type of thought emerged - POST FORMAL THOUGHT: characterized by a recognition that truth (the correct answer) varies from situation to situation, that solutions must be realistic to be reasonable, that ambiguity and contradiction are the rule rather than the exception, and that emotion and subjective factors usually play a role in thinking Reflective Judgement - Reasoning through problems involving current affairs, religion, science and the like - 7 stages - First 3 stages represent pre- reflective thought, people do not even perceive that knowledge is uncertain and do not understand that some problems exist without an absolutely correct answer - Stages 4 and 5 represent quasi-reflective thinking in which people recognize that some problems contain an element of uncertainty - Stages 6 and 7 represent true reflectiv
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