Paul B. Baltes

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Drawing on both evolutionary and ontogenetic perspectives, the basic biological-genetic and social-cultural architecture of human development is outlined. Three principles are involved. First, evolutionary selection pressure predicts a negative age correlation, and therefore, genome-based plasticity and biological potential decrease with age. Second, for(More)
Life-span developmental psychology involves the study of constancy and change in behavior throughout the life course. One aspect of life-span research has been the advancement of a more general, metatheoretical view on the nature of development. The family of theoretical perspectives associated with this metatheoretical view of life-span developmental(More)
Six hundred eighty seven individuals ages 25-103 years were studied cross-sectionally to examine the relationship between measures of sensory functioning (visual and auditory acuity) and intelligence (14 cognitive tasks representing a 5-factor space of psychometric intelligence). As predicted, the average proportion of individual differences in intellectual(More)
Relations among age, sensory functioning (i.e., visual and auditory acuity), and intelligence were examined in a heterogeneous, age-stratified sample of old and very old individuals (N = 156, M age = 84.9 years, age range = 70-103). Intelligence was assessed with 14 tests measuring 5 cognitive abilities (speed, reasoning, memory, knowledge, and fluency).(More)
The authors examined the usefulness of a self-report measure for elective selection, loss-based selection. optimization, and compensation (SOC) as strategies of life management. The expected 4-factor solution was obtained in 2 independent samples (N = 218, 14-87 years; N = 181, 18-89 years) exhibiting high retest stability across 4 weeks (r(tt) = .74-82).(More)
The dual task of memorizing word lists while walking was predicted to become more difficult with age because balance and gait are in greater need of "attentional resources." Forty-seven young (ages 20-30 years), 45 middle-aged (40-50), and 48 old (60-70) adults were trained to criterion in a mnemonic technique and instructed to walk quickly and accurately(More)
The primary focus of this article is on the presentation of wisdom research conducted under the heading of the Berlin wisdom paradigm. Informed by a cultural-historical analysis, wisdom in this paradigm is defined as an expert knowledge system concerning the fundamental pragmatics of life. These include knowledge and judgment about the meaning and conduct(More)
This study documents age trends, interrelations, and correlates of intellectual abilities in old and very old age (70-103 years) from the Berlin Aging Study (N = 516). Fourteen tests were used to assess 5 abilities: reasoning, memory, and perceptual speed from the mechanic (broad fluid) domain and knowledge and fluency from the pragmatic (broad(More)
This study investigated predictions of the life-span theory of selection, optimization, and compensation, focusing on different patterns of task priority during dual-task performance in younger and older adults. Cognitive (memorizing) and sensorimotor (walking a narrow track) performance were measured singly, concurrently, and when task difficulty was(More)
Two-component theories of intellectual development over the life span postulate that fluid abilities develop earlier during child development and decline earlier during aging than crystallized abilities do, and that fluid abilities support or constrain the acquisition and expression of crystallized abilities. Thus, maturation and senescence compress the(More)