Aging, Time Horizon & Meaning in Life: Thoughts and Experiences of Older Adults
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According to the socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), people tend to assess their remaining life span, as being either limited or expansive. SST theorizes that perceived time in life shapes goal pursuits, preferences, and emotional well-being. In detail, older adults who have perceived time as limited focus on immediate need gratification, not in future investments, and are also very much focused on their emotional wellbeing. According to the psychosocial development theory, aggregated changes in social roles bring about different life goals that individuals strive to achieve to promote development. I investigated meaningful goals that older adults hope to achieve before they die. I also explored the meanings that older adults attach to life during later stages in their life. Data were collected through personal interviews after selecting my informants through convenience sampling techniques. Results showed that older adults are very conscious of the time horizon. However, the length of a time horizon is very subjective to the individual. The findings of the study also showed that the meanings people attach to the time horizon is very subjective, and may be influenced by individual goals and aspirations, culture, religious believes and the environment in which one finds himself/ herself.