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Neuroscience of Aging and Cognitive Health – Exam 1 Notes.docx

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PSYC 3490
Heather Jenkin

Neuroscience of Aging and Cognitive HealthExam 1 NotesChapter 1Introduction to Aging and Older AdulthoodThe Study of Aging and Older AdulthoodGeriatrics and GerontologyGeriatrics and gerontology both refer to fields of study related to aging and older adulthoodGeriatricsthe branch of medicine specializing in the medical care and treatment of the diseases and health problems of older adultsGerontologythe study of the biological behavioural and social phenomena from the point of maturity to old ageGeriatrics is loosely applied to the study of diseaserelated aspects of aging while gerontology refers to the study of healthy older adultsWhy Was the Study of Aging NeglectedCommon belief that development took place primarily during childhood and adolescencePeople assumed that by the time adulthood is reached personality is formed and no further developmental change occursTwo stages of life theory was prevalent in developmental psychologyPhysical and psychological functions develop up to the point of maturity after which there is a transition to aging characterized by a decline in functioningIn earlier times both the number and proportion of older adults was relatively smallDefinitions of AgeChronological age is measured in units of time that have elapsed since birthBiological age has to do with where people stand relative to the number of years that they will live that is their longevity o Someone might live to 70 so at 65 they are biologically old If someone is supposed to live until 90 they are not as old at 65 o Biological age is speculative cannot predict exact length of an individuals lifeAnother way to define biological age is in terms of the bodys organ systems and physical appearance o Could be younger than someone in terms of blood pressure but older than someone in terms of gray curls o Signs of physical aging can varyFunctional age has to do with a persons competence in carrying out specific tasks1 o An individual might be considered functionally young his or her competence in some aspect of functioning compares favourably with that of chronological age peersPsychological age generally refers to how well a person adapts to changing conditions o Individuals who can adapt to changing conditions are considered psychologically younger than those who have difficulty doing so and prefer to do the same things over and over again o Remaining flexibleSocial age has to do with the views held by most members of a society regarding what individuals in a particular chronological age group should do and how they should behaveWhat Is Older AdulthoodSubjective AgePeople usually believe themselves to be younger than they are especially those who are middle aged and entering old ageThe gap between subjective age and actual age is wider for womenCategories of Older AdulthoodYoung old 6574 oldold 7584 and oldestold 85Chronological age is an organismic variable cannot be manipulated or controlledAgeismAgeism refers to a set of ideas and beliefs that are associated with discriminatory attitudes directed toward older adultsImplies negative beliefs or stereotypes about older adults as a groupCompassionate stereotypesfoster a view of older adults as helpless and in need of advocacyNew ageismassumption that important lifechanging decisions that affect their lives should be made without consulting themDevelopmental Influences and IssuesMany factors influence us over our lifetimes developmental investigators have divided these into three categoriesNormative agegraded influences normative historygraded influences and nonnormative life eventsInfluences on DevelopmentNormative agegraded influencesNormative agegraded influences are biological or environmental events and occurrences that are associated with chronological age2
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