Personality, self-perceptions, and daily variability in perceived usefulness among older adults

Pamela M. Allen, Shannon T. Mejía, Karen Hooker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Age-based self-stereotyping is associated with a variety of long-term physical health and psychological well-being outcomes for older people. However, little is known about how older individuals' day-to-day experiences of functional limitations may be related to concurrent self-appraisals on dimensions representing negative age stereotypes. We examined how distal personality traits and global self-perceptions of aging at baseline affect processing of daily experiences relevant to age-based self-stereotyping over time. Data from the 100-day Internet-based Personal Understanding of Life and Social Experiences (PULSE) study (N = 98, age = 52 - 88) were used to examine the link between personality and self-perceptions of aging to differences in 2 age stereotype-relevant daily experiences: cognitive limitations and variation in usefulness. Multilevel random coefficient models suggested that personality and self-perceptions of aging were associated with the level of usefulness and the frequency of reporting trouble concentrating during the study period. Daily experiences of trouble concentrating were significantly associated with lower perceived usefulness on that day, and conscientiousness moderated this relationship. By linking personality and global self-perceptions to daily experiences, our findings contribute toward understanding self-stereotyping processes by which personality and perceptions may affect long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-543
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • Intraindividual variability
  • Personality
  • Stereotype
  • Usefulness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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