Early Adulthood to Late Life Cognitive Development
Adaptive Cognition Perry’s Theory • Interviewed college students every 4 years… • Dualistic thinking: right or wrong, good or bad • Younger students • Relativistic thinking: no absolute truth; evaluate solutions in context • Older students Did student’s thinking change throughout college?
**Schaie’s theory & Labouvie-Vief’s theory** ** college experience: psychological impact & dropping out **
Dual-component Model of Intelligence (Baltes, 1987) • Basic information processing • Hardware of the mind • Biologically-dependent • Genetically predisposed Fluid Crystallized Crystallized build on fluid abilities • Acquired knowledge • Software (content-rich) • Culture-dependent • Experience-based
Theoretical prediction about changes in IQ **Kaufman’s research**
Schaie’s Seattle Longitudinal Study • Sequential design • began 1956… last testing 1998 • tested every 7 years (longitudinal) • new group of young adults at each time (cross-sectional) • Participants • 5000+ • age ranges from 20s to 100+ • recruited from health insurance • upper 75% of SES • Measures • Thurstone’s 5 Primary Mental Abilities
Verbal Meaning Choose the word that means the same as the one that is underlined. Fracture: complete, write, break, forget Crystallized
Number Ability If apples cost 90 cents a dozen, how much would 4 apples cost? • 50 cents • 30 cents • 75 cents • 60 cents Crystallized
Word fluency (verbal memory) Write down as many things as you can that are yellow, or yellow more often than any other color. Fluid
Spatial Orientation Which figure would fill in the missing square? Fluid
Inductive Reasoning Which letter comes next in the series? • a a b b c c d ___ • a l a m a n a ___ d o Fluid
Results: Cross-sectional age findings Declines more dramatic for fluid Abilities begin to decline in 40s • What is a major problem with cross-sectional research?
Results: Cohort effect findings Positive cohort shifts Negative cohort shifts No cohort shifts
All abilities increase until 30s-40s Significant losses are not seen until late 60s Relative stability until 50s - 60s Results: Longitudinal age findings More decline in fluid
Results: Individual differences Everyone shows declines in at least 1 ability by 60s Few people show declines on all 5, even in 80s
What accounts for the reliable declines in fluid abilities? • Speed of processing • Measured using simple to complex reaction time tasks • Higher RT number = slower speed What is a slower reaction time?
Slower processing speed is one of the most consistent cognitive changes in adulthood! “Everything moves so fast these days!”
Output (RT) Input Plaques & tangles disrupt connections Build new pathways Theory: Neural network hypothesis ** Information Loss View **
“I can’t remember….” ** Memory & attention: midlife & late life** What is the biggest cognitive complaint among middle-aged & older adults?
Tulving's Memory Model How is it measured in the lab?
Episodic memory task • List learning: recognition & recall Do you remember any of these words from the in-class assignment? cakebook sock car bat cup clockfish tree table cart egg cake book sock car bat cup clock fish tree table cart egg Are there age differences?
Recall Recognition Smaller age differences for recognition memory because it provides supportive context
Reminiscence bump Episodic memory task • Remote (autobiographical) memory • cue word technique: how old were you? Car Dog
Semantic memory tasks • Category tasks: • Apple is a _______. • Linguini is a _________. • Basil is a __________. • Lexical decision: decide if word • stapa • stop • chup • sniff Are there age differences? NO!
abacus albatross barnacle chameleon filament kaleidoscope • Word finding task: tip-of-the-tongue Are there age differences? Most common memory complaint in late life is not being able to recall a word, especially names!
Expertise What makes someone an expert? • Extensive domain-specific knowledge • Process information more efficiently & deeply • Solve problems systematically At what age do we become experts?
Age x Expertise Interaction WARRIOR 4325V, CLEARED TO WAUKEEGAN VIA DIRECT BUFFR J518 DIRECT DJB J34 TO ALPHE TO JOIN J70 DIRECT PMM V170 DIRECT BRAVE DIRECT. MAINTAIN 3000, EXPECT 14000 ONE ZERO MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE. DEPARTURE FREQUENCY IS 126.45, SQUAWK 2011. WARRIOR 4325V, TURN LEFT HEADING 180, MAINTAIN 230 KNOTS OR GREATER. Expertise reduces age differences only when task… … relies heavily on domain-specific knowledge.
“Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.” Wisdom What does it mean to be wise? Who is wise?
In-Class Assignment 7 Purpose of this assignment is to become familiar with methods used to assess wisdom and identifying criteria for wisdom. How would you respond?
Does wisdom come with age? Wisdom is stable across most of adulthood!
But, people nominated as wise are usually older… Clinicians are “experts” in pragmatics of life Wisdom is related to experience, & age & experience are related