Paul-B.-Baltes Lecture 2023

Paul-B.-Baltes Lecture 2023

Alexandra M. Freund Universität Zürich, Psychologisches Institut

Motivation and Aging: The Role of Goals in Adult Development and Aging

11. Oktober 2023, 18:00 Uhr

Leibnizsaal der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften e.V., Jägerstraße 22-23, 10117 Berlin (Eingang Markgrafenstraße)

Abstract: Goals are central for motivating behavior over time and across situations. They affect a person’s level of functioning and performance, their well-being, as well as their sense of purpose in life. The importance of goals has been acknowledged in lifespan psychology for a long time (Baltes & Baltes, 1990). More recently, the field of motivated cognition has pointed to the specific role of the cognitive representation of goals for self-regulation, emotional experience, and goal achievement. In this talk, I argue that the perceived availability of goal-relevant resources and assets changes across adulthood. As people grow older, they experience changes in opportunities and affordances, social expectations, as well as individual skills and abilities. These changes result in an overall decline of developmental gains, and an increase in developmental losses (Baltes, 1987; Baltes et al., 2006). These age-related changes lead to changes in how people represent their goals. In turn, the changes in goal representations affect goal-relevant behavior and well-being. In line with this, I will present a recent heuristic model of healthy aging placing goals and goal representations at its center stage.

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