The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 2002, Vol. 57(5), pp.P426-P434
Proverbs were used to examine whether laypeople's conceptions of or preferences for life-management strategies are consistent with the model of selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC model). The SOC model posits that there are three fundamental processes of life management: selection, optimization, and compensation. In two studies ( N = 64; N = 131), young (19–32 years) and older adults (59–85 years) were asked to match proverbs to sentence stems indicative of life-management situations. Of the proverbs, half reflected one component of SOC and half alternative, non-SOC life-management strategies. SOC-related and alternative proverbs were matched on familiarity, understandability, and meaningfulness. Two main results were obtained: Young and older adults chose proverbs reflecting SOC (a) more frequently and (b) faster than alternative proverbs. Study 3 ( N = 60, 19–32 year-old participants) ruled out that these results were due to an artifact resulting from a stronger, purely semantic relationship of the specific sentence stems with the SOC-related proverbs. Studies 4 ( N = 48 younger and older adults) and 5 ( N = 20 younger adults) were conducted to test discriminant validity. In contrast with tasks involving long-term goal orientation and success, there were no preferences for SOC-related proverbs for life contexts involving relaxation or leisure. Taken together, results of these studies indicate that individuals, when asked to choose between alternative proverbs characterizing ways of managing life, prefer SOC-related proverbs.
Adaptation, Psychological–Psychology ; Adult–Psychology ; Age Factors–Psychology ; Aged–Psychology ; Aging–Psychology ; Aphorisms & Proverbs As Topic–Psychology ; Female–Psychology ; Humans–Psychology ; Life Style–Psychology ; Male–Psychology ; Middle Aged–Psychology ; Models, Psychological–Psychology ; Personality Development–Psychology ; Quality of Life–Psychology ; Regression Analysis–Psychology ; Self Concept–Psychology ; Social Identification–Psychology ; United States–Psychology ; Life ; Proverbs ; Gerontology ; Older People;