PSY3128 Final: 66 Pages of Comprehensive Notes!

127 views75 pages
Movie: Living Old- Modern Aging in America
Aging is confronting the inevitable. Estelle, 94, prior stockbroker/financial analyst, still has
ambitions. Extra decade of healthy longevity (~90+) is expensive for the individual and raises
diseases. Not everyone has dementia or cancer but simply regular aging issues. It takes a toll on
the body. People used to die of the flu and since we got better at curing, people are dying of
things like heart failure and stroke; things that require management over time. People are living
longer with deeply needy conditions. Our bodily systems are not built to treat chronic diseases.
Geriatricians in their second year are fifty on average. Few doctors are now available to deal with
the rising care for the elderly. There are repercussions of keeping people alive longer and longer,
such as transplants and bypass surgeries. Protocol is usually ‘diagnose, treat, cure’. People are
becoming too frail to leave their homes so doctors must do house calls. They are known as ‘home-
bound elderly’. Goal is to make whatever time the person has left to be as comfortable as
possible. Some elders depend on their children for care and others depend on nurses. Families are
now more geographically spread out. People with daughters or daughters-in-laws are more likely
to not finish their lives in institutions. Nearly 60% of those past 85 will go into a nursing home and
if they stay past 6 months, the vast majority will never leave. Some are better off there
(socialization, etc). Giving up independence is feared. People usually don’t put their loved ones in
nursing homes at the first signs of dependence. Older people might not consider care to be the
best option when sick ex: being too old and ill for chemo.
Ageism: judging based on ones age. Can be used on any age group, ex: teenage boys. Typically
refers to older adults. This can impact our behavior towards older people (self-fulfilling prophesy).
Similar to sexism or racism.
Geriatrics: physicians specializing in old people. Often in the context of medicine.
Gerontology: Interdisciplinary field (so we find psychology, medicine, biology, sociology). Studies
aging from maturity to old age, concentrating on the old age.
Lifespan psychology looks from birth to death. Can have 2 phases: earlier phase such as childhood
and adolescence, and a later phase such as young adulthood, adulthood and old age.
Paul Baltes: European psychologist who did a lot of work studying older people.
4 characteristics important in the lifespan:
1-idea of multi directionality. Meaning when we look over lifespan course, development has
involved both decline and growth. This focuses on the dynamic interaction between growth,
maintenance and loss. Some things decline with age, such as reaction time. Some things increase
with age, such as vocabulary and experience based things (crystalized intelligence). This is multi
2-plasticity: things aren’t necessarily pre-determined. Interaction between biology/genetics and
environment. Things can change. You can learn and improve or you can forget if you don’t use a
certain part of your brain.
3-historical context: we develop in a certain time period in a certain culture or history. Where we
are born and grow up can produce differences.
4-multiple causation: multiple forces impact our development and interact together.
Biopsychosocial model
Looks at biology, psychology and sociology. Biology: includes genetics, health, hormonal
processes and organ changes with age. Psychology: perception, emotion, cognitive, personality
and their affects on development. Sociocultural aspect: interpersonal, societal, cultural forces that
affect us. Ex of all: malnutrition as a child leading to later issues.
On top of these 3, we have a fourth: lifecycle forces. This means that the same events or
combination of events might have a different impact depending on the period of lifespan you are
in. ex: environmental toxin exposure have larger effect on an unborn baby who is in a different
developmental process. Another example is an old person dying from a flu.
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 75 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Normative age grated influences: These are interrelations between these four forces. These are
regular normal age related things, can be biological, psychological, or sociologically related with
chronological aging. Ex: puberty and menopause. Fairly predictable. Exceptions are disease
related cases. Essentially they are things we expect related to age. May reflect some
environmental or social factors.
Normative history grated influence: most people in one culture should experience this event at
the same time. Can be biological, such as the 1918 flu or the Ebola pandemic. Economic: the
depression. If you were in America in the 1930’s you would have been affected by the depression.
More examples: baby boomer generation, global warming, or todays technological advances.
Though its normative, normative history grated influences tend to explain why people born around
the same time tend to be alike.
Non-normative influences: might be important for a particular individual, yet not experienced by
most people. Ex: divorce. Has effect on you but not on society. Its individual. Each individuals life
is affected by random chance factors, could be coincidental or due to earlier decisions affecting
later events, etc. Hard to predict. Can be positive, such as wining the lottery. Negative: car
accident. These things interact with each other.
Controversies in development
1-Nature versus nurture: today most people agree that there is an interaction. Environment can
have effect on genetic expressions.
2-Stability versus change: degree to which you stay the same and where you change over time? If
people are developing, this implies that things are changing. Ex: personality: is it the same in
youth as it is in old age?
3-Continuity versus discontinuity: is there a smooth change process (continuity) or abrupt shifts
(discontinuity)? Ex: information processing theory saying that there is a continuous development
over time. Piaget suggests stages of development. Stage theories like these imply discontinuity.
4-Universal changes versus context specific: is there one universal pathway in development, or
are there several context specific (such as areas of social or personal development- not biological).
Measuring Age
Chronological age: Usually studying chronological age in aging research. This is a good way to
define aging (calendar time). Its an easy measure to get (such as asking someone their age in
research). Other methods are used in developmental research but they’re not as easy or simple to
measure. These include….
Functional age: one can be at one biological age yet the functioning of this individual is different,
such as having a poor cardiovascular system (being 40 yet organs functioning like you’re 60). This
is harder to measure.
Psychological age: using psychological abilities in environment, such as perceptual or cognitive
processes, intelligence, memory, motivation etc. Measuring and seeing how people are reacting.
Sociocultural/social age: looks at social roles (familial or work usually). Individuals adopt specific
roles in relation to other individuals in society. Can be the role of a mother, a language, or fashion
style. Include when you finish school start working, get married, retirement. Changes over time.
Two individuals may have different chronological ages but are in the same sociocultural age, such
as when a parent returns to university.
These functional ways of measuring age are hard to measure, so we usually use chronological age.
Must be continuously readjusted, specifically the sociocultural ones as it changes all the time. Idea of
perceived age: how old one perceives themselves to be. How one sees themselves; not how others
see the individual.
Personal aging: something that changes within the individual. Reflective with the passage of time,
such as bodily functions.
Social aging: exposure to changing environments.
Meaning of age
Normal aging is different from disease that affects aging. Can be confused at times but these two
are different.
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 75 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
Primary aging: normal disease free development. Changes in biology, psychology, lifecycle
processes. Inevitable and universal part of development. Ex: decline in reaction time, menopause,
Secondary aging: impaired aging. Something is going wrong. Changes related to disease or
lifestyle or environmental factors that are causing change. Ex: vision decline is primary but
cataracts are secondary. Memory decrease is primary but dementia is secondary.
Tertiary aging: rapid loss of functioning that occurs shortly before death. Affects multiple areas of
functioning. Terminal withdraw is another term for this. Intellectual ability decreases sometimes
years before death in old people.
All related to declines in functioning. While aging, you can think “is this normal primary aging or
abnormal secondary aging?”, it can be both. Lifestyle can affect secondary aging, such as smokers
getting lung cancer.
Optimal aging: preventing decline. These can actually improve your functioning. Ex: exercise or
playing certain games. Even if you’re older its never too late to do some of these things. You can
slow down the aging process.
Individuality: people within society are different from each other. Research tends to find that
people become more and more different with age. Ex: physical functioning, interest, psychological
Survivor principle: idea that people who live to be old are the ones that manage to outlive a lot of
the threats that caused the deaths of others at earlier ages. Some have good mental health,
physical abilities or social factors. Important to consider risk taking behavior, such as young males
having the tendency to drive fast. If you’re cautious you might live to be old. This is a personality
factor that can elongate your life. So, do older people get more cautious as they age, or have
some of the elders been cautious from the start?
Methods/Collecting Data
In terms of actually measuring data, not obtaining it (yet). Measurements must be reliable
(consistency of results). Reliability is essential as you cant continue in your research without it.
Must also have validity. Method may be reliable yet not valid. One type of validity is that we are
measuring what we wanted to measure. There are many types of validity which we wont be going
Can get data from research subjects in many ways, such as (systematic) observation. Observation
is watching peoples responses in natural environments. Naturalistic observation: viewing in
natural environment. Structured observation: creating setting meant to elicit behavior of interest.
Here you’re manipulating a factor. Observation is often used in studying child development, ex:
studying aggression in playground.
Self reported measures are common, such as in surveys or questionnaires. Often used for
convenience with open ended questions or closed questions. Open ended questions can be coded
and turned into numerical numbers for data. Limitations: individuals with memory issues may not
report accurately. People might tell you what they think you want to hear. Topics may be
sensitive. Individuals may be unable to self report. Interviews can get quantitative or qualitative
data and can also have numerical coding to get data. Interviews can be structured or
Ethnographic measures: somebody is an observer in a community or culture. Less common
method of collecting data.
Clinical/case studies: in depth analysis of particular person. Gives great detail. Useful for small
populations with small samples, such as a with specific illness. Limitation: generalizability. Can be
biased. Cannot control experiment to get reliable results (ex: cannot change variables).
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-3 of the document.
Unlock all 75 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class