PSYC 3461
Psychology of Adulthood and Aging

3.0 Credits

Description

This course is designed to provide an accurate understanding of the psychological changes that people experience as they grow older. This includes identifying specific types of psychological changes and examining the dynamic forces that underlie and produce change. Topics covered are research techniques, theoretical approaches, memory, intelligence, personality, social forces, and psychopathology. The course covers the adult lifespan: young and middle adulthood and old age.

Delivery Method

Print- or Web-based.

Prerequisites

PSYC 1111 and 1211 or PSYC 106 (SFU PSYC 106) and 107 (SFU PSYC 107), or equivalents. PSYC 2111 (or equivalent) is recommended to facilitate understanding of research methodology

Exclusions

This course was formerly numbered PSYC 446. Students with credit for PSYC 446 or SFU PSYC 357 may not take this course for further credit. Students with credit for PSYC 3461 may not take SOCW 3551 for further credit.

Objectives

The overall aim of this course is to introduce you to the psychology of adulthood and aging. By the end of the course, you will have learned about the adult development of such important human abilities as memory, learning, and intelligence; how to relate these developments to societal conditions and expectations; and how to begin to appreciate the differences between normal and pathological change during mature life.

After successfully completing the course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the major models of human development.
  • Evaluate the experimental techniques commonly used to study age-associated changes in human function.
  • Discuss the adequacy of theories of biological aging and evaluate the relationship between biological and psychological theories by connecting the course material to the real life experience of growing old.
  • Describe the types of changes that occur during adulthood in the human cognitive system, including memory, intelligence, and learning skills.
  • Discuss the major life events and social processes that contribute to age-associated changes in psychological function.
  • Explain possible personality changes in the older adult.
  • Discuss the meaning of death and dying from several perspectives, including those of the individual, the family, and the health professional.
  • Discuss ageism in society, namely, the stereotype that growing old is primarily a time of decline.
  • Obtain and evaluate original research material in the area of adulthood and aging.

Course Outline

This course is divided into four modules of study as follows:

* Module 1: Foundations of Change (Weeks 1-3)

* Module 2: The Aging Adult and the Environment (Weeks 4-6)

* Module 3: Individual Differences: Personality, Stress, and Health (Weeks 7-9)

* Module 4: Meaning, Death, and Successful Aging (Weeks 10-12)

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Students will receive all course materials including the textbook in their course package.

Bjorklund, B. The Journey of Adulthood (Custom Reprint). (7th ed.) + MySearchLab + MyVirtualLife. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011.
Type: Textbook, ISBN 1-256-96638-X

Note: If your textbook is new, MySearchLab access is available at no extra charge. An online MyVirtualLife simulation also comes free with your text for you to use as an optional activity. Access codes for MySearchLab and MyVirtualLife are bundled with your custom text. The online activities are optional and not necessary for successful course completion.

If you have sourced your own textbook and wish to purchase access to MySearchLab and MyVirtualLife components separately, please go to http://catalogue.pearsoned.ca/educator/product/MySearchLab-Valuepack-Access-Card/9780205699421.page and http://catalogue.pearsoned.ca/educator/product/MyVirtualLife-Standalone-Access-Card/9780205923397.page

If you are unable to access the Internet to view the TED Talksvideos needed for some of your assignment options, you can contact TED Talks at TED Conferences LLC, 250 Hudson St., Suite 1002, New York, NY 10013 or by FAX at 212-227-6397 or by phone at 212-346-9333 to order a DVD of the videos. The cost is approximately $10 US to order one DVD with up to six 90-minute Ted talks. Information about ordering DVDs can be found at http://blog.ted.com/2012/01/17/announcing-tedtalks-dvd-on-demand/ and http://dvd.ted.com/

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is by phone if you are taking the print version of the course and through Blackboard's "Mail" tool if you are taking the web version. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.

Assessment

PRINT:

This course has four assignments, four reflections, and a final exam. The suggested schedule will direct you when to do each assessment. In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.

The total grade will be determined on the following basis:

Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 12%
Reflections 8%
Final Exam * 50%

Minimum 50% overall required for successful course completion.

* Mandatory course component.

WEB:

This course has four assignments, four discussions, and a final exam. The suggested schedule on your course Home Page will direct you when to do each assessment. In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.

Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 12%
Discussions 8%
Final Exam * 50%

Minimum 50% overall required for successful course completion.

* Mandatory course component.