Chapter

Cognitive Developmental Research from Lifespan Perspectives: The Challenge of Integration

Shu-Chen Li and Paul B. Baltes

in Lifespan Cognition

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169539
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847204 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169539.003.0024
Cognitive Developmental Research from Lifespan Perspectives: The Challenge of Integration

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Historically, at least two main approaches have been taken to construct lifespan theory. One is to attend to age-specific developmental specialties (for example, child language development or memory aging) and explore ways of combining them in a cumulative, additive manner. The other approach is to focus on the entire lifespan and identify general principles of lifelong development within and around which age-specific processes revolve and operate. Such an approach would immediately highlight the “growth-maintenance-decline” dynamic of lifespan cognitive development. The perspectives presented in this chapter are closer to the latter approach. This chapter outlines a collection of perspectives derived from lifespan psychology that may be helpful for achieving all integrative understanding of lifespan cognition. The goal of “lifespan cognitive psychology” is to shed new insights on the long-term antecedents and consequences of age-specific cognitive processes, the reciprocal co-constructive interactions between neurobiological and socio-cultural influences on cognitive development, and overarching adaptive resource allocation principles that may serve as the backdrop of development in all periods of life.

Keywords: lifespan; aging; memory; language development; cognitive development; lifespan psychology; cognition; resource allocation

Chapter.  12031 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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