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  1. 11 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT The Self, Identity, and Personality John W. Santrock

  2. The Self, Identity, and Personality • The Self • Identity • Personality

  3. The Self Self-Understanding • Self — All characteristics of a person • Self-understanding, self-esteem, self-concept • Identity— who a person is, representing a synthesis of self-understanding • Personality— enduring personal characteristics of individuals

  4. The Self Self-Understanding • Cognitive representation of the self, substance of self conceptions • Visual self-recognition tests infants • Young children perceive self as external characteristics • Older children recognize difference between inner and outer states

  5. The Self Development of Self-Understanding in Children

  6. Self-Recognition in Infancy Fig. 11.1

  7. The Self The Role of Perspective-Taking • Perspective-taking— ability to assume another’s perspective and understand his or her thoughts and feelings • Selman: 5 stages — age 3 to adolescence • Affects peer status and quality of friendships

  8. Selman’s Stages of Perspective-Taking Fig. 11.2

  9. The Self Self-Understanding in Adolescence • Abstract and idealistic • Self-conscious; preoccupied with self • Fluctuating across situations • Compare real and ideal selves • Possible selves: what persons may be, would like to be, and are afraid of becoming • Self-integration in sense of identity

  10. The Self Changes in Self-Understanding in Adulthood • Self-Awareness • Awareness of strengths and weaknesses • Improves in young and middle adulthood • Possible Selves • Get fewer and more concrete with age • Some revise throughout adulthood • Life Review • Some in middle age, common in older adults • Evaluations of successes and failures

  11. The Self Self-Esteem and Self-Concept • Self-esteem • Global evaluative dimension of the self • Same as self-worth or image • Self-concept • Domain-specific evaluations of the self

  12. The Self Issues with Self-Esteem • Modest correlations link self-esteem and school performance; links vary between adult job performance and self-esteem • Self-esteem related to perceived physical appearance across life-span • Depression lowers high self-esteem

  13. The Self Issues with Self-Esteem • Persons with high self-esteem • Increased happiness • Have greater initiative • Prone to both prosocial and antisocial actions • Undeserved high self-esteem • Narcissism: self-centered, self-concerned • Conceited • Lack of awareness linked to adjustment problems

  14. The Self Self-Esteem in Childhood and Adolescence • Accuracy of self-evaluations increases across the elementary school years • Majority of adolescents have positive self-image cross-culturally • Girls’ self-esteem is significantly lower than boys’ by middle school years

  15. The Self Self-Esteem in Adulthood • Some researchers find drops in self-esteem in late adulthood; others don’t • Older adults with positive self-esteem • May not see losses as negatively • Decrease in knowledge-related goals • Increase in emotion-related goals • Compare themselves to other older adults

  16. Prenatal Development Self-Esteem Across the Lifespan Fig. 11.4

  17. The Self Increasing Self-Esteem • Identify causes of low self-esteem • Provide/seek emotional support and social approval • Develop self-confidence and initiative • Achieve • Develop coping skills

  18. The Self Self-Regulation • Ability to control one’s behavior without having to rely on others for help • Includes self-generation and cognitive monitoring of thoughts • Self-regulation linked to higher achievement and satisfaction over the lifespan

  19. The Self Self-Regulation in Infancy and Early Childhood 12-18 months Depend on caregivers for reminder signals about acceptable behaviors Begin to comply with the caregiver’s expectations in the absence of monitoring 2-3 years Learn to resist temptation and give themselves instructions that keep them focused Preschool

  20. The Self Self-Regulation in Middle/Late Childhood and Adolescence • Self-regulation increases from about 5 or 6 years up to 7 or 8 years of age • Across elementary school years, children increase beliefs that behavior is result of own effort and not luck • From 8 to 14 years of age, children increase perception of self-responsibility for failure

  21. The Self Selective Optimization with Compensation • Successful self-regulation in aging linked to • Selection: reduction in performance • Optimization: continue practice, use of technology • Compensation: concealment; offsetting or counterbalancing a deficiency

  22. The Self Personal Control • Primary control striving • One’s efforts to change external world to fit needs and desires • Attain personal goals, overcome obstacles • Secondary control striving • Targets one’s inner worlds: motivation, emotion, and mental representation

  23. The Self Changes In Primary and Secondary Control Strategies Across the Life Span Fig. 11.6

  24. Identity Erikson’s Ideas on Identity • Identity versus identity confusion • Adolescents examine who they are, what they are about, and where they are going in life • Psychosocial moratorium • Gap between childhood security and adult autonomy, part of adolescent identity exploration

  25. Achievement/intellectual identity Vocational/career identity Cultural/ethnic identity Relationship identity Religious identity Physical identity Interest Personality Sexual identity Political identity Identity Identity’s Components

  26. Identity Contemporary Views of Identity • Gradual, lengthy process • Identity formation neither begins nor ends with adolescence • Appearance of attachment • Development of a sense of self • Emergence of independence in infancy • Resolution does not mean lifetime stability

  27. Identity Identity Statuses • According to Marcia: Individuals go through periods of • Crisis: exploring alternatives during identity development • Commitment: individuals show personal investment in what they are going to do

  28. Identity Marcia’s Identity Statuses Fig. 11.9

  29. Identity Developmental Changes in Identity Status • Young adolescents primarily in statuses of diffusion, foreclosure, or moratorium • Important for achieving positive identity • Confidence in parental support • Established sense of industry • Able to adopt self-reflective stance of future

  30. Identity Developmental Changes in Identity Status • Most important changes occur ages 18 to 25 • “MAMA” cycle: pattern for positive identity moratorium •achievement •moratorium •achievement • Family influences on identity development • Individuality has two dimensions • Connectedness has two dimensions

  31. Ability to have and give point of view Self-assertion Individuality Use of communication patterns to express own individuality Separateness Sensitivity to and respect for other views Mutuality Connectedness Openness to other’s views Permeability Identity Family Influences

  32. Identity Culture and Ethnicity • Erikson very sensitive to role of culture • Ethnic minority groups struggle to blend into dominant culture and keep cultural identities • Aware of • Negative appraisals and stereotyping • Restricted opportunities • Conflicting values influencing life choices • Two existing value systems

  33. Personality Trait Theories and the Big Five Factors of Personality • Trait Theories • Personality is broad dispositions or traits that tend to produce characteristic responses • Big Five Factors of Personality theory • Led to advancements in assessing personality • Most believe personality is result of trait-situation interaction

  34. Personality Big Five Factors of Personality Fig. 11.10

  35. Personality Views On Adult Development • Stage-Crisis View • Levinson’s Seasons of a Man’s Life • Stage and transitions occur in life span • Tasks or crisis in each stage shape personality • Levinson’s midlife crisis in 40s: try to cope with gap between past and future • Vaillant’s Grant Study

  36. Middle Adult Transition: Age 40 to 45 Entry life structure for early adulthood: 22 to 28 Entry life structure for middle adulthood: 45 to 50 Age 30 transition: 28 to 33 Age 50 transition: 50 to 55 Culminating life structure for early adulthood: 33 to 40 Culminating life structure for middle adulthood: 55 to 60 Era of late adulthood: 60 to ? Early Adult Transition: Age 17 to 22 Late Adult Transition: Age 60 to 65 Personality Levinson’s Seasons of Life

  37. Personality Emotional Instability and Age Fig. 11.12

  38. Personality Age and Well-Being Fig. 11.13

  39. Personality The Life-Events Approach • Now contemporary life-events approach; alternative to the stage approach • How a life event influences individual’s development depends on: • The life event • Individual’s adaptation to the life event • Life-stage context • Sociohistorical context

  40. Personality Life Events Framework Fig. 11.14

  41. Personality Generativity versus Stagnation • Seventh stage in Erikson’s life-span theory • Generativity • Encompasses adults’ desire to leave legacy to next generation • Middle-aged adults develop in number of ways • Stagnation • Also self-absorption, develops when one senses s/he has done nothing for next generation

  42. Personality Changes In Generativity from the Thirties to the Fifties Fig. 11.15

  43. Personality Stability and Change • Many longitudinal studies have found evidence for both change and stability in personality in adulthood • Neugarten’s Kansas City Study • Costa and McCrae’s Baltimore Study • Berkley Longitudinal Studies • Helson’s Mills College Study • Vaillant’s studies

  44. Personality Stability and Change • Cumulative Personality Model • With time and age, people become more adept at interacting with environment in ways that promote stability • Overall, personality is affected by • Social contexts • New experiences • Sociohistorical changes

  45. Personality Openness to Experience, Age, and Culture Fig. 11.17

  46. Links Between Characteristics at Age 50 and Health and Happiness at Ages 75-80 Fig. 11.18

  47. 11 The End