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Questions on Psychology of Aging - Essay Example

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1. Briefly discuss the theoretical process of selective optimization with compensation, proposed by Baltes (1987). Briefly discuss what each component entails (5 points). Provide one example of how older adult might apply selective optimization with compensation in their daily life (5 points).
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Download file to see previous pages The SOC theory "involves an orchestration of selection, optimization, and compensation." When an individual decides on the path or goal he wants to achieve, this process is called selection. "During ontogeny, there are several additional sources for selection: individuals and societies sample from a population of possibilities or opportunities (.), limited individual capacity in time and resources, incompatibility of goals and outcomes, and age-related changes. The activities he will do to hit the target is optimization. If the individual can no longer keep his goal he resorts in goal-relevant means to maintain success - this is compensation.
An aging journalist who used to go on field for a daily beat applies the theory of SOC in continuously writing news stories (selection), he ensures that he meets with the right sources to beat his deadline and be able to deliver a good output (optimization), but old age hinders him from doing field work everyday, hence, he opted to have a bi-weekly column in a broadsheet to maintain his keenness and visibility in the world of news (compensation).
2. Schaie (1994) asked whether there are differences in life-course patterns for various intellectual abilities with age (i.e., whether different abilities show different trajectories with age). Briefly discuss the answer to this question based on his results (6 points). Also note when reliable decrements in intellectual ability are detectible (2 points) and what role cohort effects might play (2 points).


In his study, K. Warner Schaie (1994), have shown that "there is no uniform pattern of age-related changes across all intellectual abilities, and that studies of an overall index of intellectual ability () do not suffice to monitor age changes and age differences in intellectual functioning for either individuals or groups." The uniqueness of human mind, as well as, cohort, and gender are among the factors that makes the non-uniform pattern of age-related changes in the IQ.

The age of 60 is the usual retirement age in most countries. Schaie's study shows "decrements in most psychometric abilities" mostly occur at the age of 60 onwards. Regardless of the individual pathology or genetic factors, "reliable average decrement can be found for all psychometric abilities by age 74.

Cohort, generation, or peers also affect an individual's intellectual ability. Although "() patterns of socialization unique to a given sex role is specific historical period may be a major determinant of the pattern of change in abilities."

3. Imagine that you are asked by congress to develop a nation-wide training program that would enhance older adults' cognitive functioning. Based on the results from the Schaie and Willis (1986) study, where they trained reasoning and spatial ability in older adults, would you tell congress that a training program would work (5 points) Why or why not (5 points)


I would be very glad to recommend to the Congress a training program to enhance adults' cognitive functioning. Based on Schaie and Willis (1986) study, "inductive reasoning training help improve everyday problem solving ability, particularly for older adults in their late 70s or early 80s.

In the present time where a lot of concerns arise, that even a primary pupil encounter various perplexing matters (classroom and family politics), a cognitive training would be of help. It will boost the future, as well as the present generation's ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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