Introduction to the talk
It may come as a surprise but this will not be a talk about genetic engineering. In contrast to common belief, human aging is neither biologically nor contextually determined. Instead it is the result of perpetual interactions between person, biology, and culture. This is why an individual’s aging trajectory in a given domain of functioning can within biological limits take many different shapes. This intraindividual variability has been labeled the ‘developmental plasticity’ or ‘plasticity of human aging.’ Examples from cognitive and personality functioning are presented to illustrate the plasticity of aging and its limits. Given the plasticity of human aging, it is worthwhile compiling more and more scientific knowledge about the constellations of person, biology and culture characteristics that optimize aging. Cohort- and country-comparative longitudinal data including physiological as well as behavioral performance measures besides sociodemographic information are needed to gain a deeper understanding of human aging.
About Ursula M. Staudinger: http://www.ursulastaudinger.com/