Development is defined as the act of adaptation while personality development basically refers to the mental, emotional, psychological, temperamental and behavioral growth that one acquires (Schulz and Heckhausen, 1996). Also, personality development can be described as the averagely constant and stable features and characteristics a person bears with time (Alea, Diehl and Bluck, 2004). Personality development usually is an attribute associated with age and experience.
Success can be defined as the achievement or realization of desired goals or objectives hoped for. On the other hand, successful ageing is basically the eminent and prosperous growth in personality, self-concept and values acquired with age and experience (Kanfer and Ackerman, 2004). Many researchers and other stereotypes actually have come up with various hypotheses and theories that really condemn ageing as being more disadvantageous. In regard to this, there are currently various hypotheses, possibilities and theories that try to propose and oppose on various aspects regarding personality development in adulthood and successful ageing. These theories are reviewed in the discussions below.
Schulz and Heckhausen (1996) basically attribute personality development in late adulthood and successful ageing to the ability to control diversity and selectivity and also the ability to explicate compensation for failure or lack of success. These theories are all twined in the personal ability to control basic factors like emotions, behavior and cognitive skills which are acquired as one develops from childhood to adulthood and much adopted as one ages. They additionally argue that motivation controls an individual’s selection which eventually controls the ability of choosing either to perform an action or not. Schulz and Heckhausen also argue that successful development is a lifelong process that one acquires with age. According to them, they contend that the societies at most cases impose a sociological setback to successful ageing, for example, they argue that stereotypes at most cases are hindrances to successful ageing. Another theory in which they contend about personality development in late adulthood and successful ageing is the biological genetic makeup. They argue that the inherited genotypes from parents play a greater role in determining emotions and other sociological factors which eventually influence successful ageing.
Kanfer and Ackerman (2004) argue that personal setup, surrounding and environment greatly affect personal development in late adulthood and also affect successful ageing. They contend that these environmental factors actually shape personal perception especially in motivational setups. They additionally argue that successful adulthood development basically depends on both the work and non-work experiences for example; educational knowledge which may greatly affect motivation at work places. Kanfer and Ackerman finally argue that successful aging is associated with the intellectual development although the physical and the health status are greatly lowered.
Alea, Diehl and Bluck (2004) argue that physiological factors affect personality development in late adulthood and also successful ageing. They basically argue on the basis of emotional experiences whereby they argue that aged adults actually experience fewer emotions than young adults. Additionally, they attribute successful ageing to the ability of one being able to control the physical emotions like anger, sadness, overreaction and anxiety. They also argue that emotion control really depends on whether the emotion is positive or negative.
Lupien and Wan (2004) contend that successful ageing actually is hereditary which is in agreement with the arguments of Schulz and Heckhausen (1996). They argue on the basis that successful ageing is dependent on the maximum lifespan one lives. Maximum lifespan actually according to them is affected by the environmental factors for example, the social, economic and dietary factors. They additionally debate that sanitary factors actually contribute greatly to the increase in lifespan according to the data registered by the World Health Organization (WHO). On the other hand, they attribute diseases to be one of the factors declining life expectancy which in a way or the other affect successful ageing and personality development. Also Lupien and Wan argue that personality development in late adulthood and successful ageing actually is associated with development in the social life, satisfaction and well-being in general. They argue that according to the “activity theory”, ageing actually results to deprivation of jobs and tasks and also loss of ability to reproduce in females. This makes older adults need to retain their self esteem which actually leads to replacement of duties.
Baltes, Staudinger and Lindenberger (1999) argue that age actually affects the functions of the genome which impacts successful ageing. They base this theory on the evolutionary hypothesis that suggests that older living organisms actually gain less from the genotypic makeup of that organism. They also argued that lifelong development and development in late adulthood is associated with the theory of “selection”, “optimization” and “outcomes”. They argued that selection actually leads to the need of achieving some set goals or targets while optimization, is associated with the need to improve already existing goals. On the other hand, compensation is actually a reaction to a loss. These factors generally contribute to personality development in late adulthood and also successful ageing.
Carstensen and his friends (2010) argue that management of emotions improves with age as one develops from childhood to adulthood. According to their findings, they attribute this to the fact that, as people continuously grow, concurrence with positive emotions is more than with negative emotions. They also found out that, there is a reduction in mortality rate with increase in the emotion experience and knowledge.
Ageing actually can be argued by most stereotypes and antagonists as being associated with degradation of the physiological and biological factors, loss of widowhood and also retirement from jobs. On the contrary, according to the current researches successful ageing can be associated with intellectual, emotional and psychological development (Lupien and Wan, 2004). Additionally, personality development and successful ageing can be attributed to the development of: Cognitive skills; good emotional control; power of making comparisons; good socialization skills and ability of getting contended with life.
Alea, N., Diehl, M., & Bluck, S. (2004). Personality and Emotion in Late Life. Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology, 1-10. San Diego, CA: Elsevier.
Baltes, Paul B., Staudinger, Ursula M., & Lindenberger, U.
(1999). Lifespan Psychology: Theory and Application to Intellectual Functioning. Annual Reviews psychology 50: 471-507.
Carstensen, Laura L., et al. (2010). Emotional Experience Improves With Age: Evidence Based on Over 10 Years of Experience Sampling. American Psychological Association, 1-13.
Kanfer, R., & Ackerman, P. L. (2004). Aging, Adult Development, and Work Motivation. Academy of Managerial Review, 29 (3): 440-458.
Lupien, S. J., & Wan, N. (2004). Successful Ageing: From Cell to Self. The Royal Society, 359: 1413-1426.
Schulz, R., & Heckhausen, J. (1996). A life Span Model of Successful Aging. American Psychological Association, 51 (7): 702-714.