What happens to mental abilities as we grow older?
- Ian J. Deary
As we age our physical prowess tends to decline. Do individual differences among people change as they move from childhood through to adulthood and old age? Is there on average a tendency for people to lose mental power as they grow old? ‘Ageing and intelligence: senility or sagacity?’ considers these issues. Studies on intelligence ranking show that there is both substantial stability and considerable change in the rank-ordering of human intelligence across the lifespan. This is because the correlation coefficient used to measure stability is not perfect. Studies on intelligence decline show that our ability to perform different types of intelligence tests advances and declines with age. How is mental speed affected by age?