Learn about how cognitive abilities change as we age. Created by Carole Yue.
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- So, if emotional reasoning improves with age, how do you explain the phenomenon of the high frequency of Grumpy Old Men?(11 votes)
- Another possibility is that the "high frequency of Grumpy Old Men" is our cultural bias against older individuals. The Western culture tends to see older adults as grumpy, frail, and past their prime, while in other cultures, older adults are viewed as knowledgeable, kind, and respected. In the end we may see more "grumpier old men" because that's what we expect to see and we tend to ignore all the time we interact with an older adults who doesn't fit this stereotype.(53 votes)
- what are episodic memories?(4 votes)
- Episodic memories are part of the long term memories. They are basically memories that are collection of specific events and details. So example would be when you were 10, you watched a football game with your dad and you remember how you celebrated it and etc.(10 votes)
- So, if a specific person where to grow up in some sort of private bunker with minimal human contact until old age, then be put into a normal housing and family situation, would said person have almost minimal emotionally charged situation solving skills? Due to not having very many experiences to pull from dealing with others in the past? I ask this because the video talks about how older people typically have a better time when solving sticky situations with emotional people, because they have plenty of past experiences to pull from. This simply makes me think however, is it truly just the amount of experiences that someone has had? If that were the case middle aged people could be more developed in this area than some elderly people, right? I understand that the longer you live the more experiences you get, but is there a way that being well developed in this area is based at all on some type of brain development, rather than the nurture of the life you have lived? I hope that's not to complicated. I would really love some input, because I am genuinely curious what everyone else thinks. Thanks!(3 votes)
- I think you're correct when you say emotional intelligence is driven more by experience. Obviously, there are issues with brain damage and developmental issues that impair emotional reasoning permanently. But unquestionably not every older person performs better than every younger person on emotional intelligence, and that probably does depend on the variety and frequency of social interactions. I would regard the discussion about age and cognition as indicating trends -- older people tend to... and younger people tend to... -- as opposed to inflexible and always accurate rules. The old person spending his or her entire life in a bunker will probably perform worse that the generally healthy younger person who has lived and integrated into society.(2 votes)
- The definition of "recognition", stated at0:47, confuses me. Can someone please explain "recognition" in more detail?(2 votes)
- Well. Recognizition if referred to part of your memory. "Identification" would be another word, because you need to identifiy things (ex. car, spoon, house) as the environment. It's a iittle complicated to express which of all the things are "recognizable" (there are colors, things, people).
May be (for example) you will not recall right now which is the largest river in Europe, but if someone shows you a list you will remember (or at least, make a deduction).(3 votes)
- Is part of the reason it's more challenging for adults to learn, say, a second language, because processing speed decreases or is it more complex than that?(1 vote)
- It's more complex than that, and nobody really knows why. Part of the problem is that it's surprisingly hard to do good quantitative research and/or neuroimaging studies on second language acquisition. In fairness, psychologists and neuroscientists don't really understand how children learn their first language, either.(5 votes)
- At2:53, why would decreased ability for divided attention cause you to become more easily distracted?(1 vote)
- If you can't divide your attention between multiple tasks then you will have to switch your full focus between them instead.
Imagine being in a car and trying to manage the acceleration and brake pedals, steering, and changing gears (in a standard) by fully focusing on each one. While looking between those controls to operate them it would be difficult to then look at the road often enough to drive safely, or get anywhere, at any considerable speed. Hence old age being bad for driving.
Recently I've seen it with people unable to easily multitask on video game controllers. Their eyes become fixated on what button or stick to move and they don't have the ability (yet) to multitask the controls with the visual processing of what's happening in the game.(3 votes)
- How long or what age are people before their minds are fully developed(1 vote)
- Why do some cognitive abilities change while we age? I understand crystallized intelligence obviously, but why does, say processing speed or episodic memory decline?(1 vote)
- Cognition is a part of which intelligence theory(1 vote)
- Cognitive theory? It doesn't fall under a specific intelligence theory. Cognitive theory is a psychological theory.(1 vote)
- At2:53, why would decreased ability for divided attention cause you to become more easily distracted?(0 votes)
- [Instructor] Aging is a natural process and with it come changes in memory. Most people associate aging with declines in cognitive performance. My mom will say she's having a senior moment when she forgets something, for example, but never fear, not all cognitive changes in adulthood are negative. Some abilities remain relatively stable, and some even improve, so let's start with the positive. Abilities that remain stable. First of all, implicit memory stays about the same across the lifespan. In other words, once you've learned to ride a bike that procedural memory is likely to stay with you as you age barring any brain damage or disease. Recognition memory also stays relatively stable over time. Meaning that once you learn something, your ability to pick it out of a list later remains about the same whether you're 27 or 67. Now for abilities that improve. Semantic memory improves until around age 60, and only then starts declining. This means that older adults still have good verbal skills, and why they make excellent crossword puzzle buddies. A related area in which older adults tend to score better than younger adults is crystallized intelligence. Which involves the ability to use knowledge and experience. Since older adults have had more time to gain knowledge and experience, this pattern makes sense. Crystallized intelligence is often tested with reading comprehension and analogy tests, so older adults tend to be better at those than younger adults. Finally, older adults tend to be better at reasoning in the face of interpersonal or emotionally charged problems. Again the theory is that with their greater experience and knowledge of these types of situations, they are more likely to have been through some similar situation and be able to draw from that experience. Of course, there are some cognitive abilities that decline as we age. Recall becomes more difficult. Although recognition is stable, it's harder for older adults than younger adults to generate responses without cues like there are in a free recall or it's sometimes cued recall test. Similarly, episodic memory is impaired. Often memories formed a long time ago will be relatively stable, but forming new episodic memories becomes more difficult as we age. Processing speed slows down as we age, so if you're watching Jeopardy with grandma, she might know just as many answers as you do, if not more, but she'll have a harder time outputting the response within such a short period of time. Related to processing speed, divided attention becomes more difficult. As we age, it becomes increasingly harder to effectively switch our attention between tasks, so we become more easily distracted. The bottom line is that cognitive changes in adulthood aren't all negative. Although some cognitive abilities do decline, it's important to remember that in healthy, older adults some cognitive abilities will remain stable or even improve.