Cognitive Development in Later Stages of Life

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Cognitive Development in Later Stages of Life

Development in Adolescents

Cognitive Development in Later Stages of Life

Adolescents are capable of inferring other people’s thinking and imagining what others might perceive about them.  Preadolescents reason palpably, but adolescents become more capable of abstract logic. Sometimes, adolescents' ability to reason hypothetically and rationale other’s reasoning leads them to spot hypocrisy in others. Adolescents often think and debate about topics such as human nature, good vs. evil, truth and justice

This graph emphasizes how intellectual ability sees an exponential increase during adolescence.

Aging and Memory in Adults

There is a change in memory capacity as an individual ages. This can be seen as nearly two-thirds of people over age 40 say their memory is worse than it was 10 years ago according to a study conducted by KRC on 2001. Example: Within hours after British prime minister Margaret Thatcher announced her resignation, young and old people recalled hearing the news. After eleven months, only 42 percent of the older group compared to 90 percent of the younger group old the same story.  Also, it has been found that younger adults have better recalls, but there is no similar memory decline with age on recognition. Example: In 1996, David Schoenfield and Betty- Anne Robertson asked various age grouped adults to learn a list of 24 words. The researchers asked some to recall as many words as they can, while other to just recognize the words, using multiple-choice questions. Younger adults had better recall, while older adults had better recognition.  Memory is better for older adults early in the day, unless given lots of caffeine. Older adults take longer time to produce the information and things they know. Their capacity to learn and remember declines less than their verbal recall. Prospective memory, such as time-based task and habitual task are especially challenging for adults in later ages.

Here is an interesting clip about the effects aging has on one's memory ability.

Aging and Intelligence in Adults

Phase I: Cross-Sectional Evidence for Intellectual Decline: In this study, researchers test and compare people of various ages. Research consistently shows that older adults give fewer correct answer than younger adults. Because of this, many corporations established mandatory retirement policies, believing that the company would benefit by replacing aging workers with younger and more capable workers.Phase II: Longitude Evidence for Intellectual Stability: Colleges began giving intelligence test to entering students in 1920. They wanted to study intelligence longitudinally- retesting and studying the samples of the same people over a period of years. It was discovered that until late in life, intelligence remains constant or increases. Many disagreed with cross-sectional studies that generally compared less-educated 70 year olds (born in early 1900s) to better educated young adults who were born after 1950s. People of different eras and backgrounds were compared in cross-sectional studies, which led to the halt of myth that intelligence sharply declines with age.Phase III: Various Possibilities Whether information decreases with age depends on the type of information provided. This can be seen through 2 types of intelligence: crystallized and fluid.Crystallized Intelligence: one’s accumulated knowledge reflected performance such as vocabularies and analogies test, increases up to old age.Fluid Intelligence: One’s speedy ability to reason abstractly when solving logic problems slowly decreases up to age 75, then decreases more rapidly after age 85.

A study conducted determined that as an individual ages, his or her cognitive abilities, primarily including intelligence, is hindered over time as seen through the trend in the graph.


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