age effects One of the three fundamental effects examined in developmental research, along with cohort and time-of-measurement effects, which reflects the influence of time-dependent processes on development.

ageism The untrue assumption that chronological age is the main determinant of human characteristics and that one age is better than another. biological forces One of four basic forces of development that includes all genetic and health – related factors.

biopsychosocial framework Way of organizing the biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces on human development.

case study An intensive investigation of individual people.

cohort A group of people born at the same point or specific time span in historical time. cohort effects One of the three basic influences examined in developmental research, along with age and time-of-measurement effects, which reflects differences caused by experiences and circumstances unique to the historical time in which one lives. confounding Any situation in which one cannot determine which of two or more effects is responsible for the behaviors being observed. continuity-discontinuity controversy The debate over whether a particular developmental phenomenon represents smooth progression over time (continuity) or a series of abrupt shifts (discontinuity). correlational study An investigation in which the strength of association between variables is examined. cross-sectional study A developmental research design in which people of different ages and cohorts are observed at one time of measurement to obtain information about age differences. dependent variable Behaviors or outcomes measured in an experiment.

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experiment A study in which participants are randomly assigned to experimental and control groups and in which an independent variable is manipulated to observe its effects on a dependent variable so that cause-and-effect relations can be established.

gerontology The study of aging from maturity through old age.

independent variable The variable manipulated in an experiment.

life-cycle forces One of the four basic forces of development that reflects differences in how the same event or combination of biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces affects people at different points in their lives. life-span perspective A view of the human life span that divides it into two phases: childhood/adolescence and young/middle/late adulthood. longitudinal study A developmental research design that measures one cohort over two or more times of measurement to examine age changes. meta-analysis A technique that allows researchers to synthesize the results of many studies to estimate relations between variables. microgenetic study A special type of longitudinal design in which participants are tested repeatedly over a span of days or weeks, typically with the aim of observing change directly as it occurs. nature-nurture controversy A debate over the relative influence of genetics and the environment on development.

nonnormative influences Random events that are important to an individual but do not happen to most people.

normative age-graded influences Experiences caused by biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces that are closely related to a person’s age. normative history-graded influences Events experienced by most people in a culture at the same time. plasticity The belief that capacity is not fixed, but can be learned or improved with practice. primary aging The normal, disease-free development during adulthood.

psychological forces One of the four basic forces of development that includes all internal perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and personality factors. reliability The ability of a measure to produce the same value when used repeatedly to measure the identical phenomenon over time.

secondary aging Developmental changes that are related to disease, lifestyle, and other environmental changes that are not inevitable.

36 CHAPTER 1 self-reports People’s answers to questions about a topic of interest.

sequential designs Types of developmental research designs involving combinations of cross-sectional and longitudinal designs.

sociocultural forces One of the four basic forces of development that includes interpersonal, societal, cultural, and ethnic factors.

stability-change controversy A debate over the degree to which people remain the same over time as opposed to being different. systematic observation A type of measurement involving watching people and carefully recording what they say or do.

tertiary aging Rapid losses occurring shortly before death.

time-of-measurement effects One of the three fundamental effects examined in developmental research, along with age and cohort effects, which result from the time at which the data are collected. universal versus context-specific development controversy A debate over whether there is a single pathway of development, or several. validity The degree to which an instrument measures what it is supposed to measure.

Resources

www. cengage. com/psychology/cavanaugh

Visit the companion website, where you will find tutorial quizzes, glossary, flashcards, and more. You can also access the following websites from the companion website.

Statistical information about older adults on a variety of topics is collected annually by the U. S. government. In addition, several reports are available on such things as demographic projections and health. One good source is the Administration on Aging.

AARP is the largest group of people dedicated to shaping and enriching the experience of aging for all. The organization produces numerous reports and engages in much advocacy work on behalf of midlife and older adults.

One of the best sites on the Web for starting a search for information about any aspect of aging is the Division of Adult Development and Aging

(Division 20) of the American Psychological Association. The division maintains links to many other aging-related sites.

Readings

Baltes, P. B. (1987). Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: On the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental Psychology, 23, 611-626. One of the great classics, a discussion of basic concepts underlying a life-span perspective; medium difficulty.

Berg, B. L. (2008). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

A more detailed discussion of observational, case study, and other nonexperimental research methods; easy to moderate difficulty.

Cavanaugh, J. C., & Whitbourne, S. K. (1999). Research methods. In J. C. Cavanaugh & S. K. Whitbourne (Eds.), Gerontology: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 33-64). New York: Oxford University Press. A more detailed discussion of general research issues; moderate difficulty

Malley, G. (2007). The declaration. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing. A novel about a society in which the drug Longevity has eradicated aging, explores the issues of overpopulation and the ethics of immortality; easy reading.

McLoyd, V. C. (2004). Linking race and ethnicity to culture: Steps along the road from inference to hypothesis testing. Human Development, 47, 185-191. A thorough discussion of the complexities and dynamics of culture from a theoretical perspective; moderate difficulty.

Studying Adult Development and Aging