Stereotype of aging – decline of an individual’s abilities


For this assignment you must read the following articles and answer the related questions.

Length and Formatting Requirements:

  • Maximum of three (3) single-sided A4 pages for your answers (list of References at the end of the document does not count towards this limit).
  • 12 point, Times New Roman font
  • Double Line spacing
  • All margins must be 2.54cm in width
  • Referencing format must be APA 6th edition (in-text references and reference list at the end of the document)

We will cease assessing content beyond the 3 page mark conforming to the formatting requirements above (not including the reference list), so ensure that your answers do not run over-length.

Before you start:

  • Do not use the World Wide Web or Encarta or encyclopaedias as reference sources
  • Part of your task is to source information from journals and books. Of course, you are allowed to use Electronic journals.
  • ALL statements of fact must be referenced, except for those facts it might reasonably be expected that most Year 12 students would know (e.g., humans have a brain).
  • When you are referencing your information sources for this assignment, please ensure that it conforms to the APA 6th edition referencing format.

Cowley, M. (2000). The view from eighty. In D. N. Sattler & V. Shabatay (Eds.), Psychology in context: Voices and perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 156-159). Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Question One (4 marks)

A common stereotype of aging involves the decline of an individual’s abilities and prospects as they settle into ‘old age’. However, older individuals are generally noted as being better at the regulation of negative feelings, and are more capable of focusing on the positive parts of their life.

Does Cowley’s recollection in the chapter The view from eighty conform to this understanding of older adults?

Which stage of Erikson’s psychosocial development theory would be most relevant to Cowley’s example?

Provide a relevant example for each question from the chapter to support your answers.

Recommended sources of information for this question: introductory psychology textbooks, developmental psychology textbooks, and journal articles.

Question Two (4 marks)

While physical changes are outwardly apparent for older individuals, cognitive and social changes are also important to consider when examining development at this later stage of adult life.

Discuss the importance of social and cognitive changes in this part of adulthood, providing examples of each from Cowley’s recollection to support your answer.

Recommended sources of information for this question: introductory psychology textbooks, developmental psychology textbooks, and journal articles.

Question Three (7 Marks)

Use the Library Catalogue to find a journal article (published 2005+) that reports on a piece of original research regarding a factor or factors related to ‘positive ageing’. Summarise the study aims, and explain in your own words what the key findings of the study were.

How might these findings related to positive ageing be applied in an everyday context for older individuals?


  •  An original research study will have a Participants, Method and Results section. It involves the collection of some form of data. A review article, meta-analysis, or theoretical article is NOT appropriate for this question. Try to choose an article that you can make sense of, as you will need to paraphrase the aims / findings of the study as part of your answer.
  •  Any example of a characteristic or human behaviour that is measurable is appropriate. Examples of characteristics / behaviours might include life satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, self-esteem, cognitive functioning, moral reasoning, or many others.

Referencing (5 marks)

  •  Appropriate paraphrasing
  •  Correct in text citations for material from published sources
  •  Correct acknowledgement of direct quotes
  •  Reference list is complete and in APA format

Additional Materials:

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