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OBJECTIVE: 11-4 Aging and Intelligence. Do we get dumber as we get older?. Phase I: Cross Sectional Evidence for Intellectual Decline. Cross Sectional Research: Intelligence t ests and comparisons between people of various ages.

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objective 11 4 aging and intelligence

OBJECTIVE: 11-4Aging and Intelligence

Do we get dumber as we get older?

phase i cross sectional evidence for intellectual decline
Phase I: Cross Sectional Evidence for Intellectual Decline
  • Cross Sectional Research: Intelligence tests and comparisons between people of various ages.
    • When administered to a representative sample of people, researchers have found that older adults give fewer correct answers than younger adults
    • “the decline of mental ability with age is part of the general aging process of the organism as a whole” – David Wechsler
    • Corporations usually have a mandatory retirement age to replace aging workers with younger employees.
phase ii longitudinal evidence for intellectual stability
Phase II: Longitudinal Evidence for Intellectual Stability
  • Longitudinal Intelligence Research:
    • -Retesting the same people over a period of years
    • -Results: Until late in life, intelligence stays stable, or even increases
  • Longitudinal vs. Cross Sectional
    • - Cross Sectional compared not only people of different ages, but of different eras.
      • For example: Comparing someone born in 1900 to someone born in 1950
      • The idea that intelligence declines over age was no longer viable.
    • Longitudinal Research also revealed that people over 75 years old have a steep decline in intelligence.
      • -People who live long enough for the end of the study may be healthier, more intelligent people than those who were removed from the study
phase iii it all depends

Phase III: It all Depends


Intelligence is not a single trait, but a rather a number of distinct skills and abilities.

A study of more than 2000 people over 75 in Cambridge revealed a steeper intelligence decline.

Crystallized Intelligence:

One’s accumulated knowledge and verbal skills, tends to increaseswithage.

Fluid Intelligence:

The ability to reason speedily and abstractly (solving math problems) tends to decrease in late adulthood.

social development
Social development
  • The differences between younger and older adults are not created by the physical and cognitive changes, but by life events associated with family relationships and work.
  • Example: going to a new job, meeting new people, certain expectations and demands.