Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Age, Self, and Identity: Structure, Stability, and Adaptive Function

  • Frieder R. Lang
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_7


Adaptive self; Age identity; Personal identity; Possible selves; Self-concept; Self-construal; Self-continuity; Self-definition; Self-esteem; Self-regulation; Self-representation; Views of self


The self is a cognitive structure that involves representations and evaluation of an individual’s past, present, and future (Brandtstädter and Greve 1994; Diehl et al. 2011). The structure of the self is typically described along three dimensions (Asendorpf and van Aken 2003): A content dimension that involves context-related and domain-specific knowledge of one’s internal states, motives, and behaviors. The contents of self-knowledge are also described with respect to their verifiability and veracity (i.e., realistic or illusionary) (Baltes 1997). A temporal dimension that reflects knowledge about one’s past or future self, and about change of the self over time (Bluck and Alea 2008). An evaluative dimensionthat reflects emotional responses to one’s self-representation. In...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychogerontologyFriedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-NürnbergNürnbergGermany