Week 9 readings – notes .docx

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Western University
Health Sciences
Health Sciences 2711A/B
Aleksandra Zecevic

Week 9 readings – notes Chap 15; physical & cognitive development in mid adult (409 – 417) Changes in mental abilities • People focus on deficits of aging, but there are displays of cognitive competence in familiar contexts and outstanding accomplishments. = good view of cognitive potential • Core assumptions of lifespan perspective: o Development is multidimensional: combined of biological, psychological and social forces o Development is multidirectional: joint expression of growth and decline, mixing abilities o Development is plastic: open to change depending on biological and environmental history • Cohort effect o Belief that intelligence declines imiddle and late adulthood o Peak at 35 and steep drop into old age o Tests showed 5 mental abilities were the typical cross sectional drop after mid30’s but there are modest gains in midlife that are sustained into 50/60‘s o Cohort effect: responsible for difference above because each new generation has better health/education than the last = so we can use new abilities that others haven’t before • Crystalized and fluid intelligence o Crystalized intelligence  Skills that depend on accumulated knowledge and experience, good judgment, mastery of social conventions. – Increases steadily through middle adulthood • Usually peaks around 45-54, steady till 80’s  Valued by your culture  Eg: Vocab/general info/verbal comprehension/logical reasoning o Fluid intelligence:  Basic information processing skills-ability to detect relationships among visual stimuli, speed of analyzing info/capacity of working memory – beings to decline in 20’s  Combines w/ crystalized intelligence to support effective reasoning/prob solving  Influenced by conditions of brain & learning unique to individual  Eg: spatial visualization/digit span/letter-number sequencing  • Schaie’s Seattle longitudinal study o 5 factors gained in early/mid adulthood (both fluid & crystallized)  verbal ability  inductive reasoning Week 9 readings – notes  Verbal memory  spatial orientation  Numeric ability o Tell us that midlife is a time for peak since at this point its multidirectional o Perceptional speed: 6 fluid skill – ID something within a time limit  Fluid so it decreases from 20s to 80’s • Explaining changes in mental abilities o General slowing of central nervous system fxning underlies all age-related declines in cognitive area o Decrease in basic processing is not enough to affect many well-practiced performances in late life o Adults can compensate for cognitive limitations by drawing on their strengths o If no longer as good, we accommodate by shifting activities  Eg: player -> coach Information processing • Processing speed & attention/memory decline together. Great contribution to declines in cognitive fxn • Speed of processing: o Response time increases steadying from early 20s to 90s, the more complex the situation, the more disadvantaged older people are o Neural network view:  Neurons in brain die and cause breaks in neural network. So the brain tries to adapt by forming new synaptic connections going around the break. They’re less efficient o Information-loss view:  Adult’s exp great loss of info that moves through the cognitive system. This results in the whole system slowing down to inspect and interpret the information • Like a photocopy of a photocopy, less clear o Processing sped predicts adults performance, slower time = lower scores on mem/reasoning/prob solving using fluid intelligence o Declines in vision/hearing/attention/inhibition/working mem capacity/use of mem strategies all predict age-related cognitive performances o Processing speed can also be a weak predictor of skill if they are complex & familiar tasks they do everyday.  Compensator approach • Prepare a response in advance, so speed isn’t important o Reaction time is better on verbal items (letters->words) than nonverbal items (pressing a button) o Processing speed improves w/ training • Attention Week 9 readings – notes o How much info adutls can take into their mental systems at once  Attend selectively and ignore irrelevant info, how eoasy it is to adapt attention and switch to other times o Sustaining 2 complex tasks at once / ability to switch back and forth b/w mental operations becomes more challenging w/ age  Due to slowdown in info processing = limits amount of info a person can attend at once o Inhibition: resistance from irrelevant info – becomes harder  Makes them seen distracted o Continuous performance tasks: do this every time after u see this this happening  Results in commission and omission errors  Declines from 30s o Adults can compensate; those highly exped in attending to critical info (pilot) show smaller age-related attention declines o Practice can improve ability to divide attention b/w 2 tasks, selectively focus on relevant info and switch back and forth • Memory o Amount of info retained in working memory diminishes from 20s-60s due to a decline in use of memory strategies because they rehearse less and find it hard  Decreased mem = difficulty in retaining to-be remembered things/processing at same time o Memory strategies of organization and elaboration = link incoming info with already stored info, applied less often = less effective w/ age o Difficult keeping attention on relevant info, irrelevant info takes up space in working mem o Performance declines w/ age & especially in pressured conditions  Not so much in self-paced conditions where they have time to retrieve and apply what they knew o Middle age people can draw on metacognitive knowledge (accumulated before) and max performance  Eg: reviewing major points for prez/organizing things in a way to retrieve faster/park car in the same place every time o Aging has little impact on metacognition o Age-related changes in mem vary across tasks/people w/ diff cognitive capacities • Practical problem solving & expertise o Practical problem solving:  Size up real world situations and analyze how to best achieve goals that have a high degree of uncertainty o Expertise: Week 9 readings – notes  Extensive, highly organized and integrated knowledge base that can be use to support a high level of performance  Develops in early adulthood, peaks at midlife = efficient and effected approaches to solve probs, from yers of learning/practice/exp/effortful practice  Eg: strength/dexterity/organizational/social skills  Physical strength/dexterity decline, but job knowledge/organization/social skills increase. Middle aged emplyees are more competent  After middle age, adults put greater emphasis on thinking through practical problems, understanding better, interpreting it w/ diff perspectives/solving w/ logical analysis • Creativity o Creativity peaks in late 30s/early 40s and declines w/ variation o Quality of creativity changes w/ age in 3 ways  Youthful creativity is spontaneous and intensely emotional. Older people have more thought out (poetry vs fiction novel)  Shift from generating unusual products to combining knowledge & exp to unique ways. Older creativity = sum up/integrate ideas w/ mature academics  Creativity in middle adulthood reflects transition for egocentric concent to self-expression to altruistic goals o All together = decline in creative output later, but actually just new forms of creativity Vocational life and cognitive development Characteristics of returning students • 60% of adult learners are women • Women are feel more self conscious/inadequate/hesitant to talk in class than men/traditional students o From not having practiced academic learning and (-) aging/gender stereotypes • Psychocological stress; they usually have careers/kids/limited finances… • Mature women take fewer creidts, exp many interruptions and progress slower than mature men because of their role overload • High motivation: academic success/hope that it’ll improve work and fam life Supporting returning students • Social support makes diff b/w continuing & dropping out • Non traditional studends know what they want so they just need help choosing the right courses • They gain self efficacy & do well w/ support • Can spark changes: divorce/intimate partnership Chap 17; pyscial & cognitive development in late adulthood (463 -472) Week 9 readings – notes • The more a mental ability relies on fluid intelligence, the earlier it starts to decline, opposite to crystallized intelligence. • Maintenance of crystalized intelligence depends on continued opportunities to enhance cognitive skills, if there are, crystalized abilities can offset losses in fluid intelligence • Decrements of fluid intelligence limit what people can accomplish w/ cultural support o Crystal shows modest declines • Overall loss > improvements/maintenance, but plasticity is still true • Greater individual variations in cognitive fxn in late adulthood • Selective optimization w/ compensation: o Narrowing goals and select personally valued activies to optimize/max retursns from diminished energy • Late adulthood; personal goals are more focuses on maintaining abilities / preventing losses • Certain abilities depend on extensie life exp are sustained/increased w/ age Memory • Reduced capacity to hold material in working memory, so using it in complex tasks shows it • Deliberate vs automatic mem o Working mem hold less, so they pay less attention to context- who went with them, where did they go? Its an important retrieval cue  Sometimes can confuse experience or imagination o Temporal memory: recall the order of which events occrued/how ecently they happened – suffers as well w/ age o Recognition: automatic type of mem that demands little mental effort – suffers less than recall because of the environmental supports o Implicit memory: memory withou
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