Psyc 2314 lifespan development
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PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development. Chapter 21 Middle Adulthood: Cognitive Development. Multidimensional Intelligence.

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PSYC 2314 Lifespan Development

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PSYC 2314Lifespan Development

Chapter 21

Middle Adulthood:

Cognitive Development


Multidimensional Intelligence

  • Fluid Intelligence: flexible reasoning and is made up of the basic mental abilities such as inductive reasoning, abstract thinking, and speed of thinking required for understanding any subject.

  • Crystallized intelligence: the accumulation of facts, information, and knowledge that comes with education and experience within a particular culture.


Multidimensional Intelligence

  • Robert Sternberg’s 3 Fundamental Forms of Intelligence:

    • Analytic

    • Creative

    • Practical


Multidimensional Intelligence

  • Paul Baltes’ Selective Optimization with Compensation

    • The ability to strategically use one’s intellectual strengths to compensate for the declining capacities associated with age.


Multidimensional Intelligence

  • Howard Gardner’s Theory of Intelligence

    • Linguistic

    • Logical-mathematical

    • Musical

    • Spatial

    • Body-kinesthetic

    • Naturalistic

    • Self-understanding

    • Social-understanding


Multidirectional Intelligence

  • Contemporary researchers also believe that since intellectual abilities are multidirectional, it is misleading to ask whether intelligence, in general, either increases or decreases.


Earlier Studies

  • Cross-sectional

    • Impossible to match subjects in every aspect except age, cohort effects are inevitable.

  • Longitudinal

    • People’s performance on tests might improve with practice.

    • Some people leave the study; those who remain are usu. the most stable, well-functioning adults.


Schaie’s Cross-Sequential Study

  • Each time his original subjects were retested (longitudinal design), he also tested a group of adults at each age interval and then followed them longitudinally as well, thus controlling for the possible effects of retesting as well as uncovering the impact of cohort differences.


Schaie’s Cross-Sequential Study

  • Findings indicate that from age 20 until the late 50s, cognitive abilities are more likely to increase than decrease, with the exception of arithmetic skills, which begin to shift slightly downward by age 40.

  • Not until the 80s does performance fall below the middle range of performance for young adults.


Contextual Intelligence

  • Intellectual development is greatly influenced by interindividual variation:

    • Genetic uniqueness

    • Changes in family and career responsibilities

    • Cohort

    • Educational level

    • Income

    • Marital status

    • Physical and mental health


Plasticity of Intelligence

  • Abilities can be molded in many ways. It can be enhanced or diminished, depending on how, when, and why a person uses them.

  • As we age, our intelligence increases in specific areas that are of importance to us; that is, each of us becomes an expert in particular area.


Expert vs. Novice

  • Experts tend to rely more on their accumulated experience than on rules to guide them and are thus more intuitive and less stereotyped in their performance.

  • Many elements of expert performance are automatic


Expert vs. Novice

  • The expert has more, and better, strategies for accomplishing a particular task.

  • Experts are more flexible in their work


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