Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Middle Adulthood (40–60)

In what ways does cognition improve in midlife?

While the speed of information processing slows down considerably, this loss is made up for by a much greater understanding of the world in general. Adolescents and younger adults can process isolated bits of information more efficiently than older adults, but they have little context with which to understand it. Older adults have a richer, broader, and more integrated understanding of the world at large. Moreover, the ability to recognize how events can fit into familiar patterns can help compensate for the loss of fluid processing skills. For example, if a chess master can recognize familiar configurations of chess pieces, there is less need to memorize the positions of each chess piece on the board.


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