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ERIC Number: EJ933850
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Age-Relevance of Person Characteristics: Persons' Beliefs about Developmental Change across the Lifespan
Gruhn, Daniel; Gilet, Anne-Laure; Studer, Joseph; Labouvie-Vief, Gisela
Developmental Psychology, v47 n2 p376-387 Mar 2011
The authors investigated normative beliefs about personality development. Young, middle-aged, and older adults indicated the age-relevance of 835 French adjectives by specifying person characteristics as typical for any age decade from 0 to 99 years. With this paradigm, the authors determined age-relevance (How typical is a characteristic for a given age decade?). Most characteristics were ascribed to young adulthood. The pattern differed across the lifespan, however, for positive and negative person characteristics as well as for physical, cognitive, and personal/expressive characteristics. Whereas the total number of ascribed positive characteristics peaked in young adulthood and declined thereafter, the number of ascribed negative person characteristics peaked during adolescence, remained fairly low during middle adulthood, and increased slightly in old age (70+ years). As a consequence, the most positive profile was ascribed to young olds (60 to 69 years), whereas the most negative personality profiles were ascribed to the oldest age groups (70+ years) and to adolescence (10 to 19 years). The negative profiles are primarily due to more negative physical characteristics ascribed to older adults and more negative cognitive characteristics ascribed to adolescence. (Contains 4 figures, 3 tables, and 4 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland