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Chapter 1

Chapter 1-Psy213.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Dax Urbszat

Chapter 1-Adult Development and Aging  Motivation for learning about adult development and aging follows from: 1) academic interests-wanting to know how people change or what happens to people as they get older and why 2) personal interests-wanting to know about one’s own future, wanting to know how to avoid the negative aspects of growing older and wanting to experience the positive aspects of growing older 3) service interests-wanting to know how to help others Development: combined effects of the accumulation of experiences and the consequences of time-related biological processes that affect behavior and physiology throughout the lifespan of individuals -changes in behavior that vary in predictable and orderly way -carries potentials and limits  Study of development includes two aims: 1) understand the origin and development of behavior within the individual; study of ontogeny (study of maturation of individual) or intraindividual change (within individual adults) 2) understand age-related interindividual differences (between different adults) -describe and try to explain the factors that contribute to the differences between individuals as they grow older Developmental psychology: they study of age-related interindividual differences and age-related intrainvidiual change -describe, explain, predict and improve or optimize age-related behavior change -time or age itself does not directly cause change -behaviour is the focus of study because psychology is the study of behavior -social interactions, thoughts, memories, emotions, attitudes and physical activities are topics of study within the psychology of adult development and aging -one most important issue is that development is a life long process -development or change refers to decline or losses as well as growth or gains -no age period is any more important that any other period of development Quantitative: gradual and continuous, differences in amount or degree, person’s information from memory gradually slows Qualitative: stagewise, differences in kinds of behavior -development change is both quantitative and qualitative -development is a co-construction of cultural factors interacting with genetic and neurobiological factors -co-constructions can occur between biogenetic, biobehavioural, and cultural factors health span: the section of the life span during which the person is effectively or functionally disease-free stage theory: description of a sequence of qualitative changes, require 4 assumptions: 1) stage 1 (n) must always precede stage 2 (stage n+1) 2) each successive stage consists of the integration and extension of a previous stage 3) the transition from one stage to another is abrupt 4) each stage represents an organized whole characterized by several particular behaviors or competencies -stage theories imply an abruptness or developmental discontinuity between stages and continuity within stages -another issue is the extent to which behavior exhibits plasticity-refers to the potential modifiability of an event or process  Three types of plasticity: 1) neurobiological: brain reserve capacity or cognitive reserve capacity and the factors that affect the substrates that regulate anatomical differentiation, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, and biological vitality 2) behavioral-abilities and competencies related to effective adaptation and learning in response to changing biocultural demands 3) societal-extent to which the prevailing cultural forces are sufficiently flexible to allow optimal development of individuals Brain reserve capacity or cognitive reserve capacity: the hypothesis that individuals have a finite amount of resources to respond adaptively or successfully to stresses and challenges-the amount of reserve gradually decreases with age Multidirectionality: refers to the observation that intraindividual differences occur in the patterns of aging -indviduals show stability for some dimensions of behavior, declines in others, and improvements in still others -some determinants or causes of development are universal -other determinants are culture specifi
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