The adaptive power of the present: Perceptions of past, present, and future life satisfaction across the life span

Gomez, Veronica; Grob, Alexander; Orth, Ulrich (2013). The adaptive power of the present: Perceptions of past, present, and future life satisfaction across the life span. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(5), pp. 626-633. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jrp.2013.06.001

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Despite remarkable stability of life satisfaction across the life span, it may be adaptive to perceive change in life satisfaction. We shed new light on this topic with data from 766 individuals from three age groups and past, present, and future life satisfaction perceptions across the life span. On average, participants were most satisfied with their current life. When looking back, satisfaction increased from past to present, and when looking ahead, satisfaction decreased into the future. Trajectories were best fitted with a curvilinear growth model. Neuroticism and extraversion predicted the level of trajectories, but none of the Big Five predicted the slope. We conclude that humans have an adaptive capacity to perceive the present life as being the best possible.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Grob, Alexander and Orth, Ulrich

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0092-6566

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeannine Sebel

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2014 11:24

Last Modified:

26 Oct 2015 10:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jrp.2013.06.001

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.43903

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/43903

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