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


Perspectives on Changes in Adulthood 3


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: ·


Perspectives on Changes in Adulthood 4


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