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Chapter 1

PSY213 CHAPTER 1.docx

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Giampaolo Moraglia

PSY213CHAPTER1: AdultDevelopment&AginginaChangingWorld Jan7, 2013 APPROACHING THE STUDY OF ADULT DEVELOPMENT AND AGING: AN OVERVIEW What is Adult Development? - Involves change (diff in something/one from one time to another) o Often too random, numerous and diverse to study usefully - Development systematic b/c coherent and organized, adaptive b/c aimed @ dealing w/ constantly changing conditions o Tends to progress simple  complex forms (e.g. language) o May involve learning/maturation (mostly both interacting) How the Study of Adult Development and Aging Evolved - Senescence: The Last half of life (1 dev. Book by Stanley Hall) st - 1 major sci research unit devoted to aging (Stanford University) - NIH in 1946 est. large-scale research unit (journals, etc.) A Lifespan Developmental Approach - Most psychologists agree human dev continues throughout life - Paul B. Baltes key principles lifespan dev approach: Development is Lifelong o Ea. Life period influenced by past, affects future; unique chars. D. depends on history and context o Respond, interact and change w/ physical and social environments D= multidimensional and multidirectional o Multiple aspects of ppl increasing and or decreasing D= pliable/plastic o Abilities can be improved even late in life o Potential for change has limits (even for children) Multiple causality o D has multiple causes, no one perspective can adequately explain the complexities of dev. o Multidisciplinary efforts needed **See table 1.1 on page 6** BASIC CONCEPTS - Visualize adult development as product of multiple concurrent forces acting on a complex system (can look @ several aspects of same person) Aspects of Development - Adult dev = complex incl. physical, intellectual, personality and social development Physical development o Body structures, sensory capacities, organ + nervous systems, health, fitness + motor skills o Genetically programmed to some extent; research suggests ppl ctrl phys. Dev. > genetics Intellectual/Cognitive dev. o Change in mental functioning ex. Memory, intelligence, practical prob. Solving, moral reasoning + wisdom Personality dev. o Involves unique way ea. Person deals w/ world + expresses thoughts and emotions Social development o Changes in relationships, living arrangements, work, leisure - All 4 domains are interrelated and different for everyone Periods of Adulthood Young adulthood (age 20-40) o Height of physical powers + many intellectual powers; make career choices, form lifelong relationships Middle Aged Adults (age 40-65) o See some decline in health and physical abilities; dev. More mature patterns of thinking from experience o Growing consciousness of death may bring personality changes + exploring new growth opportunities Older adulthood (age 65 +) o Physically active, relatively healthy, independent and mentally alert, chronic med. Conditions o More time for personal relationships; have to deal with loss of friends, family **see table 1.2 on page 9** Meanings of Age - There can be discrepencies b/w chronological age and how old a person feels/acts - Some old ppl feel like young ppl + v.v.; suggests ppl can age in a # of ways that are not necessarily “in sync” - Passing of time does not cause development; deve. Diff. 4 individuals and diff. areas of same individual @ diff. paces - Gerontologists divide old people into two categories: Young-old (55-75) o Vital, vigorous and active regardless of chronological age Old-old (75+) o Exp. More changes in health, may become more frail/ exp major health and psych. Changes - Functional age (3 components): Biological Age o Predicted by person’s physical condition; measured by examining how well vital organ systems are working o To some extent possible to reverse thru healthy lifestyle changes (ex. Quit smoking) Psychological Age o Ability to deal w/ demands of the environment (e.g. moving, accident, job change) Social Age o Assumes social development follows typical pattern based on societal expectations o Lifespan development approach: - history also a factor in dev.  Social roles differ @ diff. time (e.g. ppl used to get married at a younger age) Influences on the Course of Adult Development and Aging NORMATIVE AND NON -NORMATIVE INFLUENCES - An event is normative when it occurs in a similar way for most people in a given group incl. biological (menopause) and cultural (retirement) events - Non – normative life events = unusual w/ major impact on individual lives o 1. Typical events occur @ atypical time of life (ex. Father @ age 60) OR o 2. Atypical events (e.g. plane crash, win lottery) o People often create own non-normative events (e.g. challenging job, risky hobby) 1.1 THE MULTICULTURAL CONTEXT Meanings of Age and Family in the Kalahari Desert - meanings of age + family strongly influe
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