8 terms

Developmental Psychology Chapter 15

Physical and Cognitive Development in Middle Age
Describe the normal age‐related changes in hearing and vision that happen in middle age.
Starting in a persons 40s, they often experience presbyopia, or farsightedness. They may also experience presbycusis, which is the loss of ability to hear high frequency tones. Both of these are normal.
At what ages can you expect to see wrinkling, sagging, and age spots on your skin?
Wrinkles often start to appear in the 30s and 40s. Sagging of the face, arms, and legs often begins in the late 40s. Age spots start becoming visible in a person's 50s.
In women, what is the difference between the climacteric and menopause? What are some of
the symptoms of each? How do cultural and individual differences influence the psychological
adjustment to menopause?
Climacteric refers to the decline in fertility which usually occurs in a person's 30s and 40s. During climacteric women have shorter, irregular periods. Hot flashes may begin. Menopause refers to the end of menstruation and childbearing years, which occurs an a woman's early 50s. During menopause, a further decrease in estrogen occurs. It causes a decrease in vaginal lubrication, skin elasticity, and can accompany bone loss. Individual differences about reacting to menopause include the importance of childbearing capacity and other interests. Cultural differences about reacting to menopause include medicalization in industrialized west linked to complaints; ethnic differences in North America; and social status of aging women linked to reactions.
What reproductive changes take place in middle age and older men?
Men have reduced sperm and semen after age 40. There is also gradual testosterone reduction, but sexual activity can stimulate production. They may also experience erection problems, which may be linked to anxiety, disease, injury, and loss of interest. Viagra and other drugs are used to treat erection problems.
Compare and contrast the cross‐sectional and longitudinal findings about crystallized and fluid
intelligence in adulthood. Why might we see these differences between studies? (That is, what
are some of the limitations of both cross‐sectional and longitudinal studies that could influence
the pattern of results?)
Crystallized intelligence refers to knowledge or memory. Fluid intelligence refers to new intelligence, or nonverbal and non-knowledge based problem solving. In cross-sectional studies, intelligence shows less age-related change than fluid intelligence. A problem with this is different generations were tested, affecting results. In longitudinal studies, most crystallized and fluid abilities increase or remain stable into middle age, and decrease after age 60. The exception is processing speed.
What are some of the factors that influence the rate of decline of cognitive abilities across
Education, occupational or leisure complexity, personality flexibility, marriage, and presence of cardiovascular disease influences the rate of decline of cognitive abilities across adulthood.
Describe the Neural Network and Information Loss theories about why processing speed
decreases as we get older.
The Neural Network theory says that neurons in the brain die, breaking neural connections. The brain forms new, less efficient connections. Information Loss theory says that information is lost at each step through the cognitive system. The whole system slows down to inspect and interpret information.
Describe the result of processing speed declines on other aspects of the information processing
system as we age.
Declines in processing speed have effects on attention, working memory, and the ability to solve novel problems.