Psychology and Biology of Aging

Spring 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 50
12 Credits per quarter
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Our study of aging will explore physical, cognitive, and social development during middle age (40–65), late adulthood (ages 65 and older), and the end of life. Using a lifespan perspective, we will consider the stability and change (gains and losses) across these domains. For example, although older adults show declines in prospective memory, or remembering to do something in the future, they perform similarly on recognition tasks as young adults do, and they perform better than young adults on tasks where they have expertise. We will also consider the social context, including social interactions with family and friends, retirement, and perceptions of older adults. We will explore end of life issues such as attitudes about death, palliative care, and grief.  

Our study of human biology will explore the general changes in human biology and physiology that accompany aging. We examine what is known about the biological mechanisms and review current theories of aging. We will look at the diseases that become more prevalent with age through a framework of how current life decisions can impact future health outcomes. For example, increasing one’s bone density through activity can decrease the probability of osteoporosis later in life. We will use the musculo-skeletal and digestive systems as focal points to explore the complex interplay of the molecules and cells of the human body. Learners will use their own bodies as frameworks for inquiry through weekly yoga/anatomy sessions and dietary experiments. 

To successfully participate in this program, students should have access to reliable internet during synchronous class meetings, an internet-enabled device (computer, tablet, or smart phone), the required texts (online and/or hard copy), and writing and note-taking supplies. Students should expect our remote teaching to be a 60%/40% blend of asynchronous (self-paced) and synchronous (real-time) work using Canvas and Zoom. Students will have access to alternatives to synchronous participation if conditions require. 

Credit equivalents will be awarded in developmental psychology and introductory human biology.


Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (12): 30236
So - Sr (12): 30237

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

psychology, social work, human services, working with older adults, living one's life fully

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

DateRevision 2021-03-12 This program is now open to all class levels