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By National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on New Technologies in Cognitive Psychophysiology

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Extra resources for Brain and Cognition: Some New Technologies

Sample text

In addition, personality factors, such as extroversion and openness to experience, are not related to the average emotional closeness of social partners in an older individual's network, but family status is (Lang, Staudinger, & Carstensen, 1998). This suggests that contextual factors play a larger role in emotional closeness than do personal factors. The communication implications for socioemotional selectivity theory are significant because relational closeness is achieved through communication.

It is hoped that each person will experience many years of healthy old age him- or herself. This book takes a communication perspective as it examines the aging process and the ability of individuals to successfully adapt to aging. We view aging not only as a physiological or psychological process, but also a social process. The vehicle through which aging as a social process occurs is communication. We bring an expertise in relational communication to the continually increasing knowledge-base of gerontology.

The ability to cope and to successfully adapt to these life changes may be dependent on the communicative skills of the elderly individual as they are used to produce a stable relational network. These relational networks help determine the satisfactory or unsatisfactory nature of later life. Therefore, in addition to the demographic imperative for studying older adults, there are a variety of theoretical and practical reasons for studying communication and aging. Significant developmental changes occur in older adults, which affect communicative processes, which in turn directly affect older people.

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