October 1974

Human Ageing

Author Affiliations



Edited by Sheila M. Chown, 397 pp, $3.95, Penguin Books Inc., 1973.

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(4):788-789. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320220190040

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This thick paperback, by virtue of stout binding and liberal margins, is easier to read than most.

Sheila Chown, lecturer in psychology at Bedford College, University of London, has gathered together 30 psychologists who deal with various aspects of aging. The individual contributions, most of which are brief, are actually "readings," describing experimental investigations that were published between 1958 and 1969. Prefacing each heading is a short, critical summary of what is to come.

The book is largely taken up with psychological testing. Old and young subjects are compared for intelligence, memory, cognitive behavior, speed in the performance of certain tasks, ability to ignore irrelevant information, and the like; tests of the significance of differences abound. Broader approaches, often with use of questionnaires or personal inquiries, are applied to less definitive situations.

What does the book have for the physician? Probably not a great deal. Most of the tests are

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