Text of Chapter 19 Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
Chapter 19 Cognitive Development in Late Adulthood
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4 The Multidimensional, Multidirectional Nature of Cognition Cognitive Mechanics Cognitive Pragmatics Sensory/Motor and Speed of Processing Dimensions Memory Wisdom
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 5 Cognitive Mechanics The hardware of the mind; reflect the neurophysiological architecture of the brain developed through evolution. Involve the speed and accuracy of the processes involving sensory input, visual and motor memory, discrimination, comparison, and categorization. Due to the strong influence of biology, heredity, and health on cognitive mechanics, their decline with age is likely.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 6 Cognitive Pragmatics The culture-based software programs of the mind. Include reading and writing skills, language comprehension, educational qualifications, professional skills, and also the type of knowledge about the self and life skills that help us to master or cope with life. Because of the strong influence of culture on cognitive pragmatics, their improvement into old age is possible.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 7 Sensory/Motor and Speed of Processing Dimensions The speed of processing information declines in late adulthood. There is, however, considerable individual variation in this ability. It is not clear that this slowdown affects our lives in substantial ways. Studies indicate we may engage in compensatory behaviors, so as to not be hindered by the slowdown.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 8 Memory Episodic Memory Semantic Memory Cognitive Resources: Working Memory and Perceptual Speed Explicit and Implicit Memory Memory Beliefs Noncognitive Factors Conclusions about Memory and Aging
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 9 Episodic Memory The retention of information about the where and when of lifes happenings. Younger adults have better episodic memory than older adults, even though older adults think that they can remember older events better than more recent events. Researchers have consistently found that in older adults the older the memory, the less accurate it is.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 10 Semantic Memory A persons knowledge about the world. It includes a persons fields of expertise, general academic knowledge of the sort learned in school, and everyday knowledge. Semantic memory appears to be independent of an individuals personal identity with the past. For the most part, episodic memory declines more in older adults than semantic memory.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 11 Cognitive Resources: Working Memory and Perceptual Speed Working memory is the concept currently used to describe short-term memory as a place for mental work. Perceptual speed is the ability to perform simple perceptual-motor tasks such as deciding whether pairs of two-digit or two- letter strings are the same or different. Researchers have found declines in working memory and perceptual speed during the late adulthood years.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 12 Explicit and Implicit Memory Explicit or declarative memory - memory of facts and experiences that individuals consciously know and can state. Implicit memory - memory without conscious recollection; it involves skills and routine procedures that are automatically performed. Implicit memory is less likely to be adversely affected by aging than explicit memory.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 13 Memory Beliefs Research shows that peoples beliefs about memory play an important role in their actual memory. What people tell themselves about their ability to remember matters. Findings have shown a relationship between positive and negative beliefs about ones memory and actual memory performance.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 14 Noncognitive Factors Health, education, and SES can influence an older adults performance on memory tasks. Positive aspects of these noncognitive factors are associated less with memory decline; they do not eliminate it. Researchers have found that using more everyday life memory tasks in their studies reduces age decrements in memory but does not eliminate them.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 15 Conclusions about Memory and Aging Some, but not all, aspects of memory decline in older adults. The decline occurs primarily in episodic and working memory, not in semantic memory. A decline in perceptual speed is associated with memory decline. Successful aging does not mean eliminating memory decline, but reducing it and adapting to it.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 16 Wisdom Expert knowledge about the practical aspects of life that permits excellent judgement about important matters. Focuses on lifes pragmatic concerns and human conditions. Research shows no age differences in wisdom.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 17 Wisdom Wisdom involves solving practical problems. Research indicates that older adults are quite competent in problem solving with regard to everyday types of situations.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 18 Education: Links to Cognitive Functioning More older adults are returning to college today to further their education. Educational experiences are positively correlated with scores on intelligence tests and information processing tasks, such as memory. Older adults seek more education to: remain competitive in the workforce learn about societal and technological changes enhance their self-discovery
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 19 Work: Links to Cognitive Functioning Successive generations have had work experiences that include a stronger emphasis on cognitive-oriented labor. The increased emphasis on information processing jobs likely enhances an individuals intellectual abilities.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 20 Work: Links to Cognitive Functioning One recent study linked substantive complex work with higher intellectual functioning in older adults. Exposure to complex environments increases intellectual functioning throughout the life course.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 21 Health: Links to Cognitive Functioning In a recent study, physical health and physical activity were positively related to cognitive performance in older adults. K. Warner Schaie concluded that some diseases are linked to cognitive dropoffs, most likely due to the lifestyles of the individuals with diseases.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 22 Health: Links to Cognitive Functioning Overeating, inactivity, and stress are related to both physical and mental decay. Walking or any other aerobic exercise appears to get blood and oxygen pumping to the brain, which may help people think more clearly.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 23 The Terminal Drop Hypothesis The terminal drop hypothesis states that death is preceded by a decrease in cognitive functioning over approximately a 5-year period prior to death. Thus the negative findings for older adults in some investigations that compare older adults with younger adults may be due in part to age from death rather than simply age from birth.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 24 Use It or Lose It Possibly changes in cognitive activity patterns result in disuse and consequent atrophy of cognitive skills. In the Victoria Longitudinal Study, when middle-aged and older adults participated in intellectually engaging activities it served to buffer them against cognitive decline. The mental activities that likely benefit the maintenance of cognitive skills in older adults are reading books, doing crossword puzzles, and going to lectures and concerts.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 25 Training Cognitive Skills Two main conclusions from research in this area: There is plasticity, and training can improve the cognitive skills of many older adults. There is some loss in plasticity in late adulthood. Mnemonics can be used to improve older adults cognitive skills. A recent study demonstrated that cognitive training helped to remediate cognitive decline in elderly adults and enhanced the performance of individuals who were not showing decline.
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Black Hawk College Chapter 19 27 Work In men, good health, a strong psychological commitment to work, and a distaste for retirement were the most important characteristics related to continued employment into old age. An increasing number of middle-aged and older adults are embarking on a second or third career.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 28 Work Working affords opportunities for productive activity, social interaction, and a positive identity. Cognitive ability is one of the best predictors of job performance in the elderly.
Black Hawk College Chapter 19 29 Retirement in the United States In a recent survey, 80% of baby boomers said that they expect to work during the retirement years. This is primarily due to their desire to work for i