The Self

  • Ernest Furchtgott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


Most human activities encompass components that are based on both biological and social motives, and the two are intricately related. In all of the previously reviewed topics we made references to cohort and cultural factors. Almost by definition, the influence of these factors is more pronounced in social than in biological motivation. Many motives change as people experience a lifetime of sundry events, especially in modern societies where there is a rapid cultural flux. The increasing mobility of people and the variety of experiences associated with the diversity of environments lead to increases in intra- and interindividual variabilities as people age, which tends to limit the generality of specific research results in social more than in biological motivation in gerontology. Also, the impact is greater in older than in younger individuals, thus; the results of simple cross-sectional studies are inadequate, and we need at least longitudinal investigations and, ideally, sequential designs (Schaie & Willis, 1996, Chapter 5)—a combination of longitudinal and several cross-sectional studies. Yet logistical problems have limited the use of the latter designs. Since much research in gerontology, as in many social sciences, is focused on immediate applications, there is less concern with broad generalizations.


Life Satisfaction Personal Goal Successful Aging Life Goal Social Motivation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Furchtgott
    • 1
  1. 1.Late of the University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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