Baltes, P. B., Mayer, K. U., Helmchen, H., & Steinhagen-Thiessen, E. (1999). The Berlin Aging Study (BASE): Sample, design, and overview of measures. In P. B. Baltes & K. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 15-55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This introductory chapter describes the general basis, goals, and methods of the Berlin Aging Study (BASE). Three features represent the special characteristics of BASE: (1) Sample heterogeneity through local representativeness (for West Berlin), (2) a focus on very old people (70-105 years), and (3) broadly based interdisciplinarity (internal medicine, geriatrics, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and social policy). Apart from discipline-specific topics, four common and intersecting theoretical orientations guide the study: (1) differential aging, (2) continuity versus discontinuity of aging, (3) range and limits of plasticity and reserve capacity, and (4) old age and aging as interdisciplinary and systemic phenomena.