Perspectives on Changes in Adulthood 1

Perspectives on Changes in Adulthood

Adult and Family Development

BSHS 380i 1.0

Date: October 21, 2002

Perspectives on Changes in Adulthood 2

Elizabeth Drew once stated, "The world is not run by thought, nor by imagination, but by

opinion," And I can see what she was saying. In this day in age, we have to be very careful to

what we state as an opinion because you never know who you might be offending.

Emotions are part of a management system to coordinate each individual\'s multiple plans

and goals under limitations of time and other resources. Emotions are also part of the biological

solution to the problem of how to plan and to carry out action aimed at satisfying multiple goals

in environments, which are not always predictable. Emotions are based on non-propositional

communications that can be called \'emotion signals. Freud\'s view was that emotions could not be

unconscious, that their experience is bound with the conscious experience, and that only

predispositions towards certain emotions can exist in the unconscious (contempt, disgust, and

shame); supplying its own unique kind of motivating information (Nelson, W.R., 1997).

The physiological component involves body changes. This includes respiration, increased

heart rate and sweating. Smiles, grimaces, frowns, and laughter are all facial displays that are

part of the expressive component. How a person interprets and evaluates their emotional state is

the experiential component (Kegley, J.A.K., 1996).

During the 1920s, a biologist named Jean Piaget proposed a theory of cognitive

development. He caused a new revolution in thinking about how thinking develops.

In 1984, Piaget observed that the understanding of concepts and reason differently at different

stages. Piaget stated that cognitive strategies, which are used to solve problems, reflect an

interaction between the current developmental stage, and experience in the world (Inhelder, B. &

Piaget, J., 1958).

Piaget was primarily concerned with the developmental factors that characterize the

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changes in the explanations of the world around the person. Piaget\'s early research

showed three parallel lines of development. First, from an initial confusion of the result

of the subject’s, own activity with objective changes to reality to a separation between subject

and object. Second, from an interpretation of the world to one based on objective causality.

Third, from an unconscious focusing on one\'s own point of view, the point of view allocates the

subject a place in the world alongside other persons and objects. In functional terms, these

concepts are termed assimilation and accommodation in reference to interaction with the

physical world, and socialization in reference to interaction with other people (Inhelder &

Sinclair, 1974, p.22).

To Piaget, an operation is defined as perceptual action or movement, which can return to

its starting point and can be integrated with other actions also possessing the feature of

reversibility (Athey, 1970, p. 231). A concrete operation is therefore the coordination and

internalization of perceptual actions that have been made on a concrete object (Inhelder, B., &

Piaget, J., 1971).

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to an ability to recognize the meanings of emotions,

and to reason and problem solve based on them. EI involves the capacity to perceive

emotions, assimilate emotion-related feelings, understand the information of those emotions, and

manage them. EI can be assessed most directly by asking a person to solve emotional problems,

such as identifying the emotion in a story or a painting. EI is a type of social intelligence that

involves the ability to monitor one\'s own and others emotions, to discriminate among them, and

to use the information to guide one\'s thinking and actions (Nelson, W.R., 1997). According

to Nelson, W.R.(1990) EI involves abilities that may be categorized into five domains: ·

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Self-awareness: Observing yourself and recognizing a feeling as it happens. · Managing

emotions: Handling feelings so that they are appropriate; realizing what is behind a feeling;

finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness. · Motivating oneself: Channeling

emotions in the service of a goal; emotional self-control; delaying gratification and stifling

impulses. · Empathy: Sensitivity to others\' feelings and concerns and taking their perspective;

appreciating the differences in how people feel about things. · Handling relationships: Managing

emotions in others; social competence and social skills. Emotional intelligence does not mean

giving free rein to feelings, rather it