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Based on Kathleen Berger's The Developing Person Through the Lifespan


The loss of hearing associated with senescence. Often does not become apparent until after age 60.

Loss of brain cells

Drug abuse leads to Korsakoff's syndrome or "wet brain", excessive stress, poor circulation, viruses. Neurons fire more slowly, brain size is reduced with less grey matter. Brain slows down. Sleep becomes more important

Assisted reproductive technology

ART- the collective name for the various methods of medical intervention that can help infertile couples have children

In vitro fertilization

IVF- ova are surgically removed from a woman and fertilized with sperm in a lab. After fertilized cells divide several times, inserted into uterus.


Dated one year after last period. Around age 50.

Hormone replacement theory

HRT- treatment to compensate for hormone reduction at menopause or following removal of ovaries. Usually involves estrogen and progesterone, minimizes menopausal symptoms and diminishes risk of osteoporosis in late adulthood.


Gradual drop in testosterone levels in older men that results in reduced sexual desire, erections, muscle mass.


Death. Normally refers to the number of death each year per 1000 members of given population


Disease. Rate of diseases of all kinds in a given population- physical and emotional, acute (sudden), and chronic (on-going)

Quality-adjusted life years

QALYs- a way of comparing mere survival without vitality to survival with good health. Indicate how many years of full vitality are lost to a particular physical disease or disability. They are expressed in terms of life expectancy and adjusted for quality of life.

Disability-adjusted life years

DALYs. Same approach, opposite direction. Reduction in QALYs means increase in DALYs. Shoot for high QALY-DALY ratio.

General intelligence

g- idea that intelligence is one basic trait, underlying all cognitive abilities. According to this concept, people have varying levels of this general ability

Fluid intelligence

types of basic intelligence that make learnings of all sorts quick and thorough. Short-term memory, abstract thought, and speed of thinking are all part of fluid intelligence.

Crystallized intelligence

Those types of intellectual ability that reflect accumulated learning. Vocabulary and general information. Some developmental psychologists think crystallized increases with age while fluid declines.

Analytic intelligence

Sternberg. Involves mental processes such as abstract planning, strategy selection, focused attention, and information processing, as well as verbal and logical skills.

Creative intelligence

Sternberg. Involves capacity to be intellectually flexible and innovative.

Practical intelligence

Sternberg. Used in everyday problem solving.

Eight intelligences

Gardner. Linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, social-understanding, and self-understanding.

Selective expert

Someone who is notably more skilled and knowledgeable than the average person about whichever activities are personally meaningful


Novices rely on formal procedures and rules while experts rely on past experiences and immediate contexts

Expert cognition

Intuitive, automatic, flexible, strategic. Takes time to develop. More likely at older ages although not guaranteed.

Social clock

Idea that the stages of life and the behaviors "appropriate" to them, are set by social standards rather than by biological maturation. "Middle age" begins when the culture believes that it does, rather than at a particular age in all cultures.

Big five

personality traits- openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, neuroticism. Remain fairly stable through adulthood.

Ecological niche

Particular lifestyle and social context that adults settle into because that setting is compatible with the individual personality needs and interests.

Gender convergence

Men and women become more similar as they move through middle age

Social convoy

Collectively, the family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers who move through life with an individual

Allostatic load

The total, combined burden of stress and disease that an individual must cope with

Linked lives

Notion that family members tend to share all aspects of each other's lives, from triumph to tragedy


Idea that family members should support each other because family unity is more important than individual freedom and success

Fictive kin

A term used to describe someone who becomes accepted as part of a family to which he or she has no blood relation


The person who takes primary responsibility for celebrating family achievements, gathering the family together, and keeping in touch with family members who do not live nearby

Sandwich generation

Term for generation of middle-age people who are supposedly squeezed by the needs of the younger and older generations. Some feel pressured by these obligations but most are not burdened by them because they enjoy fulfilling them or because they choose to take on only some of them or none

Extrinsic rewards of work

Tangible rewards, usually in the form of compensation, that one receives for a job (salary, benefits, pension)

Intrinsic rewards of work

Intangible benefits one receives from a job (satisfaction, self-esteem, pride) that come from within oneself

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