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Links:      •  Self Test
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decorative star graphic  Late Adulthood:
Cognitive Development
- New Cognitive Development -

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Ψ  Erikson finds that older adults are more interested in the arts, children and the whole of human experience than are younger adults.

Ψ  According to Maslow, older adults are much more likely than younger adults to reach self-actualization, which is defined as heightened aesthetic, creative, philosophical and spiritual understanding.

    Life Review: the examination of one’s own past life that many elderly people engage in; according to Butler, the live review is therapeutic, for it helps the older person to come to grips with aging and death; effort is made to connect one’s own life with future and past generations.

New Wisdom

  • One of the most positive attributes commonly associated with older people.
  • A cognitive perspective characterized by a broad, practical, comprehensive approach to life’s problems, reflecting timeless truths rather than immediate expediency; said to be more common in the elderly than in the young.

Ψ  Paul Baltes maintains that five features distinguish wisdom from other forms of human understanding. They are:

  • Rich factual knowledge that concerns the broad topic of human experience
  • Knowledge of the “pragmatics of life”
  • Contextual approach to understanding life that takes into account broader ecological, social & historical dimensions
  • Acceptance of the uncertainty in defining & solving life’s problems
  • Recognition of individual differences in values, goals & priorities, leading to flexibility & relativism in tackling the contradictions of life experience.

Growth & Development
Robert C. Gates
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