If you want to know your true age, don’t look at the calendar. The calendar tells you what your chronological age is, but this number may be far from accurate in defining who you are. All you know from your chronological age is how many times you’ve sat on the earth while the earth orbits around the sun. As an index of aging, chronological age is deeply flawed.
Psychologists who study aging long ago dispensed with the value of chronological age as a variable to use in research. For one thing, it’s not an “independent” variable because it can’t be experimentally manipulated. Participants can’t be randomly assigned to conditions.
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The Psychological Age of a Person
When people ages, their consciousness, the way they think and their mind as a whole will experience a series of different stages. At each of the stage, people will have unique characteristics that made them different from the previous or future stages. The ego – soul evolutionary dynamic can be used to map every step of psychological development.
It can be said from this map, that every evolutionary dynamic in psychological development is used to explain the graded shift from self or ego to the development of soul. Meanwhile, it is important to know that the psychological age doesn’t refer to the exact or physical number of age. Otherwise, it is more like subjective age – equivalent that refers to how mature someone or how old he feels.
The Difference Between Psychological Age and Chronological Age
You may ever meet a person that is actually still young but has already thought just like any adult would do. Otherwise, it is very often to meet people that are actually aged but still act and think childish or not mature enough. They only want to have fun just like teenagers do and cannot take any responsibility at their age, even if they have already at their 40’s.
The psychological age of some people may exceed the chronological age, or age that is measured since birth. This can be happen when the people are mature and think older than the average people at their age.
People whom psychological age exceeds their chronological age sometimes cannot get along well with their classmate. Although this doesn’t mean that this person frequently has a fight with one of their classmate. It is more like this person cannot hung out frequently with them. This person thinks that her friends are too childish therefore she just cannot fit in there quite well.
Psychological age that exceeds or falls short of the chronological age can be associated with several factors in this person’s life and environment. When a person has been raised in a warm environment with caring and loving parents, they may tend to grow more mature than their actual age. They will see things more positively and eager to do good things.
But, it is not always the case. A child that grew in a bad environment may also turn to become older than the actual age in two different possibilities. They can be negative as well as positive. For example, children that live in a poor family may think more mature as they want to change the situation of their family even when they are still kids.
But the bad situation also can lead them to be a negative thinker. They will see the world as something very bad. Something that their peers may never think about it.
The Steps of Psychological Development
The steps of psychological development can be divided into surviving, conforming, differentiating, individuating, self – actualizing, integrating, and serving. The survival feelings will be developed since infants. They will seek for security and protection from their parents. Meanwhile individuating grows when you shift from dependent to independent.