What will I be like at eighty? How human values contribute to expected real and ideal self-images in old age in a Germanic/Austrian cultural context


According to Grawe’s Consistency Theory, congruence between an individual’s aims and reality is fundamental for psychological health. We examined the real and ideal self-images of N = 440 participants in a Germanic/Austrian cultural context as perceived in presence and as anticipated for an age of 80 years and examined their relationship to value orientations as a coping resource. From adjective ratings on the Semantic Differential for the real self-image at presence, two dimensions were extracted, one representing Warmth (W) and one representing Competence (C) in the sense of the Stereotype Content Model. Cluster analysis yielded one type of respondents with a cautiously optimistic, and one with a moderately pessimistic view of the present and the future. A third cluster devalued W and C in favor of Religiosity and Conservatism and had the highest degree of congruence between real and ideal self-images. Thus, hypotheses with regard to Religiosity and Conservatism as coping resources were confirmed.

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Renner, W. , Jenull, B. and Strasser, I. (2014) What will I be like at eighty? How human values contribute to expected real and ideal self-images in old age in a Germanic/Austrian cultural context. Advances in Aging Research, 3, 35-42. doi: 10.4236/aar.2014.31007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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