Textbook Notes (369,204)
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Psychology (935)
PSYC 357 (50)
Chapter

Psych 357 Ch 7.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 357
Professor
Dagmar Bernstein

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Psych 357 Ch 7 (Language, problem solving and intelligence) • Info on thinking and learning in later adulthood can provide greater understanding of the ptl for “lifelong learning” • Language: wide range of cognitive functions including comprehension, memory and decision making o Most researchers believe that the average healthy older adult doesn’t suffer significant losses in the ability to use language effectively under normal speaking conditions  Basic abilities to carry on convo, read, write maintained thru life o Cognitive aspects of language:  Reading rates slows (even in ppl w/good visual acuity), hearing also affected  Slowing of cognitive processesing to affet quality of interpretations that older ppl derive from spoken language  Retrieval deficits  May use simpler sentences, writing simpler in expression of ideas and grammatical complexity  Also Working memory deficits (declines in capacity) • But compensating effects of aging in processes involved in speech comprehension/production • Don’t lose ability to understand indiv words, can grasp and remember descriptions in language • See no impairment in ability yo put together structure of sentence along w/the emphasis the speaker uses while talking  Older adults use compensating strategies shown by increased activity in frontal cortex to deal w/WM deficits • Older adults more right hemisphere, younger adults more left?  Effect of experience on understanding context in language  Well developed schemas of info/structures o Social aspects of language:  Ability to tell a great story may improve as we age and dev greater language richness/metaphorical ability • Increased tendency to reminisce but can be seen as being too focused on the past (negative rxn by younger ppl) • Talk excessively about generally uninteresting topic (make others uncomfy)  Biggest/most serious change in communication patterns w/age is seen in young ppl • Elderspeak= simplified speaking pattern directed at older adults who are presumed to be cognitively impaired/misunderstand  Communication predicament model= use of elder speak constrains older adults from participating fully in conversations w/others (lack of cognitive stimulation leads to adoption of simpler speaking patterns) • Like pattern of over parenting or failure to encourage indep • Process of infantilization to create loss of incentive for older adults to regain self sufficiency in basic daily activities • Every day problem solving: o Movement in research away from abstract reasoning abilities, instead on personal every day probs (finances, maintaining meds) o Characteristics of problem solving:  Prob solving involves assessing current state of situation, deciding on desired end state and finding ways of transforming current into desired state • Probs lacking clear goals or when steps confusing place increased cognitive burden on indiv o Problem solving in adulthood:  Everyday problems are multidimensional (unlike those in labs)  Experience can enhance both prob solving performance and feelings of self efficacy  Increasing ability to only search out necessary info (experts able to zero in) • Attraction effect- distracting alternatives= tendency to find a less than optimal choice b/w two alternatives to be more attractive when a third alternative is presented o Young adults more likely to fall prey to this effect  Tend to seek familiar answers to familiar problems, so may miss something important • Older prob solvers may think they’re doing a better job at probb solving but objectively they may not be considering alternatives effectively enough • Older adults sticking to pattern of responding • Perseveration (continue on a task)- ie say same word twice when listing words beginning w/a K o Certain amount of frontal lobe deficit associated w/aging (not entirely pathological) o Despite losses in ability to plan, advantage for older ppl of more experience and access to relevant info (more well developed schemata) o Older ppl make quicker decisions, even in areas where they’re not experts  Don’t feel as dependent on incoming info? Maybe less able to use multiple info sources?  Base decisions on own experience rather than incoming info o Older ppl better off in familiar situations but premature decisions make novel situations harder and less likely to be correct o Adult learners:  Jean Piaget’s Formal operations= ability of adolescents and adults to use logic and abstract symbols in arriving at solutions to complex problems • Perhaps Postformal Operations? Way that adults structure their thinking over and beyond that of adolescents o Incorporates tendency of mature thinker to use logical processes that are specifically geared to complex nature of adult life  Can judge if formal logic or simpler methods required • Dialectical thinking= interest in and appreciation for debate, arguments, and counterarguments  Implications for adult learners (students)- may rely more on attaining mastery of material thru certain strategies (ie copious notes)  Variation b/w ppl • Intelligence: o Historical perspectives on adult intelligence:  Research on intelligence emphasizes the description and analysis of individual difs in years from 20s and over  First test Stanford Binet to eval mental abilities of children  Wechsler Adult Intelligence scale • Early findings suggest that age difs across adulthood follow “classic aging pattern” (inverted U w/peak in early adulthood followed by steady decline) o Findings of either no decline of decline that wasn’t evident until very late in life  Schaie came up w/primary source of data on adult intelligence o Theoretical perspectives on aging:  Most operate from assumption taht there are two main categories of mental abilities corresponding roughly to verbal and nonverbal intelligence  The concept of “G”: • Existence of a “general factor” of intelligence (g) which encompasses ability to infer and apply rlnshps on basis of experience o So indivs w/high levels of g should be able to score high on various tests taht tap into specific mental abilities o Salthouse identified broad “g-type” factor associated w/age that was also related to age related deficits in speed and memory • Primary mental abilities: G overly simplistic? So proposals of multiple abilities/dimensions of abilities that together comprise intelligence o Thurstone and Primary mental abiliti
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