Psychologists have been able to identify and associate human life stages with theories that govern the human growth and development. One theory which cannot be over emphasized when it comes to understanding the human growth and development is the “Eriksons stages of psychological development theory”. According to this theory, life is divided into eight stages in which an individual exhibits different resolutions. For example, in infancy, the baby learns to trust, withdraw and mistrust. Similarly, in maturity stage 65 years until death a person is seen to accept worth, uniqueness and death among other resolutions. This theory is necessary in psychology as it informs on what is expected of humans at specific stage of their lives. When the expected is not happening there is a possibility of diagnosing a psychological problem.
As persons age, there are changes that will occur in their brain activity and memory. Two domains which can be identified in the case of aging can be shown and have been proven. These are intelligence and memory. For example, ‘crystallized intelligence’ which means the knowledge for memory or experience accumulated over long periods of time is not affected by the aging process. However, ‘fluid intelligence’ which is described as abilities not connected to education and experience, reduces when an individual ages. For memory, remembering past events which happened over many years remains intact during old age. However, when an individual age it becomes hard to form new memories and even remembering recent event becomes an uphill task.
Stage of life
When people becomes aged, (age of 65years and above), the main events identified in relation to memory and intelligence are seen to be affected. However, intelligence and memory accompany every stage of growth and development of any human. For example in young children recent memory and creation of memory is very efficient. However, thee crystallized intelligence is lacking. It is thus important to appreciate every stage and its changes and connection to memory and intelligence.
Aging is demonstrated to be an honour in many cultures. For example, the aged in the society are seen to be part of ‘storage of experience’ and mentors. In the political scene, retired politicians are employed as advisors to young leaders so as to be part of brain tank that can be utilized in governance, campaign, political strategy and general advice. This is so because aged individuals are reservoirs of crystallized intelligence. In this case they provide a pool of experience and can easily relate to past events and strategies that were employed to control such events similarly, accumulated education makes them good teachers and mentors. In the family the old are also source of advice since they are seen as experienced. Culture all-over the world seems to conclude that the aged can be consulted due to their experience. Ageing though have some negative effects, is considered to have its main strength in experience accumulation in many cultures.
Researchers who have plunged into the study of memory and intelligence have used aging to clearly show their results. Memory spans of the aged are seen to get low. Similarly, research results indicate that the aged people have declining vision, processing speed, fluid intelligence and overall cognitive deficits. Though these are some of the major pullbacks of the aged, some beneficial strengths as seen cannot be ignored.
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