By Richard S. Lazarus
Dealing with getting older is the ultimate undertaking of the past due Richard S. Lazarus, the guy whose landmark e-book Emotion and edition placed the examine of emotion in play within the box of psychology. during this quantity, Lazarus examines the adventure of getting older from the perspective of the person, instead of as in basic terms a set of facts and charts. this method is according to his long-standing trust that stories could be checked out of their particular contexts, instead of squeezed into a very common statistical point of view that loses the topics' motivations. Drawing on his 5 many years of pioneering learn, Lazarus appears to be like at getting older, emotion, and coping, and balance and alter in either setting and character. simply because Lazarus mixes educational rigor with daily examples, this quantity might be either beneficial to students and obtainable to the lay viewers that has quite a bit achieve from a scientific figuring out of getting older and emotion.
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There is a wonderful story about a pump handle that social epidemiologists love to recite as a reminder to students about how causes of illness can be discovered and illness prevented or cured. It derives from the nineteenth-century idea that a disease can arise from a single environmental condition. It tells a true account of a cholera epidemic in London in 1855, before the discovery of microbes. At that time it was believed that this deadly disease was caused by bad air. Although this is an erroneous explanation, it might be considered intuitively close to the truth, perhaps a step on the way to more complete knowledge.
Most of us, however, notice a loss of strength, energy, and stamina that comes with aging, or realize that we now grow winded while struggling up a steep hill as we walk our dog, a hill that we used to climb almost effortlessly. Changes such as this occur so slowly that they may even not be noticed, except perhaps on certain occasions—for example, when playing ball with our children—when we can remember being physically more capable. Often we do not get the truth about this from peers because it is an emotionally charged issue, and they may have a need to show how extraordinary they are.
14 This is hardly the ﬁrst time this kind of thing has happened as a result of the failure to do careful research before instituting major treatment programs. One terrible example is the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was given to pregnant women to prevent miscarriages. It took many years to discover that the drug did not work; worse, many daughters of those who took the drug later developed vaginal cancer. Arthroscopic surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee is another example. We recently learned that the procedure, which has been widespread, does no good, though it could have a placebo effect for those patients who are believers.