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Temas em Psicologia

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NERI, Anita Liberalesso. Paul B. Baltes’ legacy to the Psychology of Development and Aging. Temas psicol. [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.1, pp. 17-34. ISSN 1413-389X.

This paper introduces the contributions of Paul B. Baltes (1939-2006), German psychologist, to the called Psychology of Development and Aging, represented by lifespan theory, model of selection, optimization and compensation, research on intellectual plasticity in adulthood and aging, as well as interdisciplinary investigations on advanced aging. He has conceptualized development as a continuous, multidimensional and multidirectional process of change orchestrated by genetic, biological and socio cultural influences, part of them normative, part not normative. According to the author, development comprises concurrently gains and losses, involving interaction between individual and culture as well as several levels, and different influences timings. Successful development and aging are based on selection of goals, optimization of means to accomplish these goals, and investment on compensations when means fail. Taking empirical data as basis, Baltes believed on in incompleteness of human development architecture, the relevance of culture to compensate human ontogenesis limits, the normative character of aging, and discontinuity between early and advanced aging

Keywords : Lifespan theory; Human development; Aging.

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