Positive adult development
refers to development starting in late adolescence and continuing through to the end of life. Historically, seven phases of human life-span in Latin are Infanta, Pueritae, Adolescentiae, Juventuti, Virilitatae, Senectuti, Decrepitudiris. In modern developmental psychological studies the focus is on expanded capabilities and changes that improve the quality of life. Research and discussion within the field of Positive Adult Development include the topics of Wisdom, Cognitive and Moral Development, Therapy, Adult Education, Political Development, Societal and Spiritual Development (see e.g. Alexander & Langer, 1990; Hoare, 2011). Positive adult development (AD) is major focus of interest in some international scientific organizations, e.g. European Society for Research on Adult Development (ESRAD). Adult development research includes various fields of study, and it focuses especially on psychological development, opportunities and challenges. It includes empirical and theoretical approaches on a variety of topics (Demick & Andreoletti, 2003; Hoare, 2011; Robinson, 2012). Beside Positive and Adult developmental psychology, fields of humanistic, positive and transpersonal psychology are close to the mentioned fields of interest.
overlaps with adult cognitive developmental research. Originally philosophical concept, it has raised strong interest during late decades in human sciences. Currently there exist many research traditions in the field. E.g. for Erikson wisdom meant to understand life’s limits, acceptance of one’s life, and mature ego integrity. Wisdom as trait of personality is prominent in the later models, as with Sternberg and Baltes. The “postformal” (relativistic dialectical,integrative) adult thinking is understood a cognitive sub-component of wisdom (contextualism, relativism of values, recognition and management of uncertainty, complex problem solving, tolerance of ambiguity, dialectical thinking). Wisdom is seen mainly as personality trait and/or cognitive maturation, but also as self-transcendence, ego-, ethical and emotional maturity. Wisdom is also seen heavily based on life experience. Certain claims of features of wisdom are common to several models, but also differences exist.
History of cultural cosmology
is one part of history of science and history of astronomy / cosmology. It is defined as any beliefs or assumptions, models and ideas connected to cosmos, and as the theory and practice of myth, magic, divination, religion, spirituality, politics and the arts involved in it (see Campion, 2009a, 2009b). The main interest is which kind of meanings wo/manhood has attached to cosmos during the eras. Cosmic environment is one part of larger group of systems human being is adapted to. Suppositions of the causes and effects of cosmos on human’s life has also been defined as the first notions of environmental psychology: how the highest system, cosmic environment has supposed to have had effect on human life and on the other terrestrial phenomena on the Earth (beside other environmental factors). These notions have included for example definitions of behavior, temperament, personality, emotions, vices and virtues, spiritual development, and life-span – thus history of cultural cosmology has direct connections to the history of psychology and developmental psychology (e.g. Kemp, 1990, Thorndike, 1923).
Eeva K. Kallio
Adjunct professor, PhD, University of Jyväskylä and Tampere, Finland
Wisdom and learning research team
Sophia & Phrones European wisdom network
Co-founder and former president of European Society for Research in Adult Development
Co-founder of Critical Academy Jyväskylä, Finland (Kriittinen korkeakoulu) Jyväskylä
Book: Development of adult cognition (2016; five editions in one year, plus electronic edition)
NULLIUS IN VERBA - motto of the Royal Society
Personal website by Eeva K. Kallio. This site is of academic research of adult psychological development, wisdom research and history of cultural cosmology.
NOTE. This website is not connected to any specific sect, religion or spiritual movement. This blog is personal, not affiliated to any institution.
Photo: Petteri Kivimäki