Positivity Effect

The socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) postulates that people in the late adulthood stage tend to prioritize activities that are more emotionally and socially meaningful since they are concerned that they only have a few years left in life. As compared to young adults who prioritize individual achievement and material pursuits, older people’s motivations are more focused on fostering intimacy, short-term goals, and pleasurable experiences. This life-span theory of motivation was developed by Laura Carstensen, a Stanford psychologist.

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