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Chapter 8: Middle Adulthood:

Chapter 8: Middle Adulthood Module 8.2: Cognitive Development in Middle Adulthood

Looking Ahead :

Looking Ahead

PowerPoint Presentation:

Does intelligence decline in middle adulthood? ? ? ?

Cognitive Development:

Cognitive Development Cross-sectional studies clearly showed that older subjects scored less well than younger subjects on traditional IQ tests Intelligence peaks at 18, stays steady until mid-20s, and declines till end of life Longitudinal studies , revealed different developmental patterns in intelligence Stable and even increasing IQ scores until mid-30s, and some to mid-50s, then declines

Difficulties in Answering the Question :

Difficulties in Answering the Question Older research Cross sectional studies Cohort effect Newer research Longitudinal studies Practice effect and participant attrition

Testing Effects:

Testing Effects Practice effect Attrition Physical performance portion Timed Reaction time slows with age Results may be due to physical changes not cognitive changes

Kinds of Intelligence:

Kinds of Intelligence Fluid intelligence: the ability to deal with new problems and situations Crystallized intelligence: the store of information, skills, and strategies that people have acquired through education and prior experiences, and through their previous use of fluid intelligence

Relationship Between Fluid and Crystal Intelligence:

Relationship Between Fluid and Crystal Intelligence

Continuing Competence versus Growing Decline:

Continuing Competence versus Growing Decline Salthouse suggests four reasons this discrepancy exists: Typical measures of cognitive skills tap a different type of cognition than what is required to be successful in particular occupations Measures of practical intelligence rather than traditional IQ tests to assess intelligence may yield little discrepancy People can be quite successful professionally and still be on the decline in certain kinds of cognitive abilities Older people may be successful because they have developed specific kinds of expertise and particular competencies

Highly Successful Middle Age People:

Highly Successful Middle Age People

The Development of Expertise: Separating Experts from Novices:

The Development of Expertise: Separating Experts from Novices EXPERTISE , the acquisition of skill or knowledge in a particular area, develops as people devote attention and practice Expert: relies on experience and intuition, processes information automatically, uses different neural pathways to solve problems Novice: strictly follows formal rules and procedures, uses better strategies and better problem-solving

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW The question of whether intelligence declines in middle adulthood is complicated by limitations in cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies. Intelligence appears to be divided into components, some of which decline while others hold steady or even improve.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW In general, cognitive competence in middle adulthood holds fairly steady despite declines in some areas of intellectual functioning.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY How might crystallized and fluid intelligence work together to help middle-aged people deal with novel situations and problems?

Memory: You Must Remember This:

Memory: You Must Remember This According to research, memory changes in adulthood Most people show only minimal losses Many exhibit no memory loss in middle adulthood Memory is viewed in terms of three sequential components Sensory memory Short-term memory holds information for 15 to 25 seconds Long-term memory

Schemas in Middle Adulthood:

Schemas in Middle Adulthood

Becoming an Informed Consumer of Development:

Becoming an Informed Consumer of Development Effective Strategies for Remembering Mnemonics Get organized Pay attention Use encoding specificity phenomenon Visualize Rehearse

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply REVIEW Memory may appear to decline in middle age, but, in fact, long-term memory deficits are probably due to ineffective strategies of storage and retrieval. People categorize and interpret new information according to the schemes they have developed about how the world is organized and operates. Mnemonics help people organize material in ways that improve recall. These formal strategies include getting organized, visualizing, rehearsing, paying attention, and using the encoding specificity phenomenon.

Review and Apply:

Review and Apply APPLY In what ways do schemas give midlife adults an edge over younger adults?

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