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PSYC 357 (50)
Chapter 7

CHAPTER 7: LANGUAGE, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND INTELLIGENCE

6 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 357
Professor
Wendy Thornton

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CHAPTER SEVEN: LANGUAGE, PROBLEM SOLVING, AND INTELLIGENCE LANGUAGE (p.144) Cognitive Aspects of Language - Older adults read slower compared to younger adults - In written language: older adults may experience deficits in retrieval that can lead to spelling errors - Older adults retain their knowledge of grammatical rules, declines in working memory can cause older adults to lose track of what they mean to say while they're saying it o Affects complexity of grammatical structures - Older adults use the right hemisphere when processing speech, a reversal of the left hemispheric dominance seen in more younger adults Factors that contribute to decline Factors that contribute to preservation Slower reading rate Semantic memory is retained or greater Changes in hearing and speech perception Able to get the “gist” of the story Slowing of cognitive functions No problems with paralinguistic elements of speech Retrieval deficits Activates the right hemisphere more Simpler grammatical structures Greater experience with language Working memory deficits More cognitive complexity Social Aspects of Language (p. 147) Older adults reminisce is with others about experiences from the past - Reminiscing serves the function of solidifying relationships and building shared identities with others from their generation Elderspeak – speech pattern directed at older adults similar to the way people talk to babies - Involves simplifying your speech as much as you would talk to a child - Leaving out complex words or talking in a patronizing or condescending tone of voice - Offering unnecessary help, making personal comments about appearance, or talking in short and simple sentences Communication Predicament Model of Aging (p. 148) - Older adults are thought of as mentally incapacitated, leading younger people to talk to them in a simplified manner, which over time can have the effect of reducing the older adult’s actual ability to use language - Infantilization phenomenon – the older person loses the incentive to attempt to regain self-sufficiency in the basic activities of daily life EVERYDAY PROBLEM SOLVING (p. 148) Characteristics of Problem Solving Problem solving involves… - Assessing  deciding on an end goal  finding a solution  evaluating the outcome Problem solving that lacks clear goals are an increased cognitive burden Problem Solving in Adulthood - Most of everyday problems can be solved in different ways - If they are familiar with a problem or type of problem, they can get to a solution more quickly and effectively than a novice - Greater experience can enhance problem-solving skills in adults and feelings of self-efficacy - Expert problem solvers are able to avoid information overload by honing on specific areas that experience has taught them are important to consider o In the area of medical decision making, older adults are able to weigh a number of factors and make complex choices more quickly than can young adults - Older adults can make choices that are better founded and less subject to extraneous factors - Older problem solvers may think that they are doing a better job at problem solving than younger adults but, by objective criteria, they may not be considering alternative solutions as effectively and can therefore make an error o Focuses on solution rather than considering others - Older adults may stick with one pattern of response when the solution calls for a range of ideas - In older monkeys: inconsistent in their selection strategies and rather than using a deliberate strategy, seemed to make their choices more randomly - Research on adults’ decision-making speed confirms that older people are able to reach an answer more quickly than younger people who either lack the knowledge or ability to categorize that knowledge - Older people more apt to make quick decisions in areas in which they do not have expertise - Less likely to seek more information once they have made a decision o Not as dependent on incoming information as much as younger people OR o Less able to organize multiple sources of information – so they make decisions based on experience rather than on new data presented - Everyday Problems Test (EPT) o Related to education o Poor performance level on the EPT is related to slower and inconsistent reaction times for older adults Adult Learners Formal operations – the ability of adults and adolescents to use logic and abstract symbols in arriving at solutions to complex problems Postformal operations – way that adults structure their thinking over and beyond that of adolescents - Incorporates the tendency of the mature individual to use logical processes specifically geared towards the complex nature of adult life - Able to judge when to use formal logic and when, alternatively, to rely on other and simpler modes of representing problems Dialectical thinking – interest in and appreciation for debate, arguments, and counterarguments - Understands that truth is not “a given”, but rather that people come to an understanding through a negotiating process of give and take Adult Learners in the classroom - May rely more on attaining mastery through taking copious notes and relying on them more heavily as they try to acquire more information - More likely to challenge the instructor and explore alternative dimensions - ** not all adult learners have these characteristics – may depend on personality, willingness to be open to new experiences INTELLIGENCE (p. 154) Adult Intelligence: Historical Background The Stanford- Binet – the first intelligence test - Designed to evaluate the mental abilities of children Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) - Age differences in adulthood followed the “classic aging pattern” o Inverted U-shaped pattern, with a peak in early adulthood followed by a steady decline o Previous versions had verbal and performance scales Scale Subtest What is Tested Verbal Comprehension Similarities
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