What are the 5 personality traints of the big 5?
Openness - willing to take reisks, try new things
Conscientiousness - organised, efficient, dependable
Extraversion - outgoing attitudes
Agreableness - Empathy, caring cooperation
Neuroticism - stable vs emotionally vulnerable
What does the big 5 say about how our personalities change over our lives?
Generally they dont
There is a high correlation of big 5 features over the lifespan
Changes that do happen tend to be positive
Emotional stability and functioning increase with age
Biggest level of conscientiousness increases in your 20's
Agreeableness increases in your 30s
Neuroticism changes with age
How does the big 5 get your personality ranking?
Compares you to other members of the population
This means that even though you might change slightly over time, compared to the population who are going through similar changes you will stay roughly the same
What did the Mills College Study when they tested women at 21, 27, 43 and 52 find in regards to how our personalities change over time?
At 27 women were higher on emotional dependence than partners, there was no difference between them and their partners at 52
However, their mothers were still high on dependence at 52
Why was the mothers of the Mills College Study still high on dependence at age 52 but their children weren't?
Environmental and Social Context
womens rights movement - sociocultural context is important
Objective measures of ageing are good because they are scientific and bad because...
they define what counts as 'successful ageing' very tightly
definitions may differ
What are the four components for successful ageing articulated by Rowe and Kahn
When evaluating life satisfaction (subjective) how are individualist and collectivist cultures different?
individual: values independence as they age
collectivist: don't rate independence as important
What did the Kansas City Studies use to test the 'typical' middle aged women in a cross-sectional comparison with a 6 year longitudinal follow up?
What were they interested in?
Thematic Apperception Test (ambiguous pictures)
Interested in how these changed over time
What do thematic apperception tests supposed to reveal?
Unconscious concerns, conflict and underlying world view
Ego energy reflects vigorous, passitionate engagement with life vs withdrawal
Mastery style reflects triumph and success over problems
What were the results of the Kansas City Studies?
Starting in 50s ego energy and mastery declined
Interiority (internal focus) increased
Less interested in the outside world, more preoccupied with self
Describe what the disengagement theory of ageing suggested
A natural process of disengagement occurs in late middle age
There was a mutual withdrawal – self left society / society left individual
What were the concerns and impact that disengagement theory had on ageing individuals?
Because elderly were suggested to leave society, problems arose
Concerns: fluency decline, discomfort with testing, sample used was problematic, Psychoanalytic underpinnings used for it not correct
Broader concerns: allowed for ageism, had political implications, doesn't apply cross-culturally
What theory became prominant after disengagement theory went into decline?
What were the key tenants for successful ageing outlined in activity theory?
Successful ageing = replacing roles with new ones as roles and relationships change
keeping busy and active is the key
What does activity theory link with successful ageing?
Being active: socially, physically, in leisure activities
leads to wellbeing, functional outcomes and reduces mortality
What are the concerns with activity theory?
Emphasis on the individual rather than structural issuses.
This could marginalise already marginalised older groups and they may become isolated
- these limitations can be structural and can block individuals from actively achieving these goals
What relationship does life satisfaction have with age?
little relationship until oldest-old
people dont report being unhappy with age and lifesatisfaction until they are very old and lose their mental and physical health
What impacts life satisfaction the most?
Poor living conditions, ill-health, loss of relationships
What is the paradox of happiness?
Your way of looking at the world influences how happy you are, not your objective situation
it depends on comparative status, who you compare yourself, what dimensions you compare yourself across, what matters more to you etc.
Is socio-economic status a predictor of well-being because you have more money?
No, having more money doesn't make you happier
It is a predictor because of the opportunities it can bring
Who is happier, someone who spends money on themselves or others
Spends money on others
Actual health or self-reported health is a better predictor of wellbeing
What you consider your health to be
Name the predictors of wellbeing
What personal resources are predictors of wellbeing?
Sense of control
Sense of purpose/usefulness
What cognitive functions are predictors of wellbeing
Evaluation, expectation, interpretation
in relation to how you are ageing
Purpose is a very strong predictor of ______
Marital closeness is a predictor of ____