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Chapter 2

Life span perspective

The understanding that development is continuous from childhood to old age.

John Watson

founder of american behaviorism. claimed that childs future could be molded by environment.

Niche Picking

Idea that genetic and environmental factors work together to influence the directions ones life takes


study of aging process.

Organismic model

model that suggest that nature is the prime mover of development

mechanistic Model

model suggest that nurture is the primary force in development. development is continous

Interactionist Model

model that says genetics environment and individual play role in development.


part of interactionist model. means that there are multiple processes in development


Meaning that the course of development may be altered.


Less formal term for theory. represents a position or set of ideas.

Reciprocal nature of development

Recognition that people both influence and are influenced by the events in their lives.

Ecological Perspective

Developed by Bronfenbrenner. Identifies multiple levels of the environment that interact with indv. processes of change.

Proximal Social Relational level

involves individuals relationships with significant others, peers, family

Sociocultural Level

Relationships with larger institutions like govt, and economic systems.

Adaptational Processes

Level including cognition, personality and coping

Life course perspective

emphasizes importance on aged base norms

Disengagement theory

Relationship between older individual and society were society withdraws support in indv. so person begins to dissengage.

Activity Theory

Theory that claims that its harmful to force older adults from social roles.

Continuity theory

theory that says that older adults will suffer a loss of well being if forced out of social roles.

Modernization Hypothesis

Idea that the increasing urbanization has led to lower social value for older people.

Multiple jeopardy stereotype

Additional biases are seen with minority groups particularly women beyond ageism

Age as lever view

As people get older age overrides the other isms

Inoculation Hypothesis

Older minorities and women have become immune to the effects of ageism to years of exposure.

Social clock

the normative expectations for the ages at which major life events should occur.

Ericksons Psychosocial theory

Theory that says that person goes through 8 stages. each stage is defined as a crisis that challenges the indv. ego.

Epigenetic principle

Each stage unfolds from the previous stage according to a predestined order

Trust vs. mistrust

early infancy. Strength is hope.

Autonomy vs. shame and doubt

toddler. strength is will

initiative vs. guilt

early childhood. strength purpose

industry vs. inferiority

middle childhood. strength competency

identity achievement vs identity diffusion

adolescence. stage where you have an unclear sense of self. strength fidelity

intimacy vs. isolation

young adult. establishing a mutual relationship with a partner. strength love

generativity vs. stagnation

middle adulthood. generativity being concerned with caring for the younger. stagnation is when indv. turn attn to people of their own age group. strength is care

ego integrity vs. despair

late adult. ego integrity when can look back at life and accept it. despair is feeling discontent with life strength wisdom


theory of cognitive development


people interpret new experiences in terms of existing mental structures


existing mental structures


Change of existing schema

Identity process theory

Theory states processes of assimilation and accomodation can account for interactions between the indv. and experiences.

Multiple threshold model

Model that proposes that people pass through a series of steps of feeling old at different times for different systems of the body

Gompertz equation

mathematical function showing relationship between age and probability of death

Replicative senescence

loss of ability of cells to reproduce

Random error theories

assumption that aging reflects unplanned changes in organism over time

Cross linking theory

aging causes changes in collagen

free radical theory

unstable compounds that attach to molecules who then lose their function

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