Why do some individuals retain their behavioral competence well into advanced old age, whereas others show early decline? This question has long been a central topic in the psychology of adult development and aging. Five central questions and relevant research findings address this issue:
1. Does intelligence change uniformly through adulthood, or are there different life course ability patterns?
2. At what age is there a reliably detectable age decrement in ability, and what is the magnitude of that decrement?
3. What are the patterns of generational differences, and what are their magnitudes?
4. What accounts for individual differences in age-related change in adulthood?
5. Can cognitive decline in old age be reversed?
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