Emotions and ageing: modern paradigms and directions



The article is devoted to the study of the emotional sphere of elder people. Emotions are the basic mental functions that allow a person to orient quickly in the environment, creating a background area for everything around them. Emotions have the ability to give a person additional strengths or vice versa lead to apathy. In this regard, the study and understanding of age-related changes in the period of ageing is an important basis for adaptation of elderly people to the late stages of ontogenesis. This article discusses the Western approaches to understanding emotional processes during aging, reveals the paradox of aging, provides the most current trends in study of emotional manifestations.

General Information

Keywords: emotions, aging, elderly age

Journal rubric: General Psychology

Article type: review article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2017060308

For citation: Strizhitskaya O.Y. Emotions and ageing: modern paradigms and directions [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2017. Vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 71–76. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2017060308. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Labouvie-Vief G. et al. Age and gender differences in cardiac reactivity and subjective emotion responses to emotional autobiographical memories. Emotion, 2003, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 115–126. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.3.2.115
  2. Baltes P.B., Baltes M.M. Psychological perspectives on successful aging: The model of selective optimization with compensation. In Baltes P.B., Baltes M.M. (eds.), Successful aging: Perspectives from the behavioral sciences. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 1–34.
  3. Blanchard-Fields F. Everyday problem solving and emotion: An adult developmental perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2007, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 26–31. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00469.x
  4. Cacioppo J.T., Berntson G.G., Klein D.J. Psychophysiology of emotion across the life span. In Schaie K.W., Lawton M.P. (eds.), Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics. Vol. 17. Focus on emotion and adult development, New York: Springer, 1998, pp. 27–74.
  5. Diehl M., Hay E.L., Berg K.M. The ratio between positive and negative affect and flourishing mental health across adulthood. Aging & Mental Health, 2011, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 882–893. doi:10.1080/13607863.2011.569488
  6. LaMonica H.M. et al. Differential effects of emotional information on interference task performance across the lifespan Frontiers. Aging Neuroscience, 2010, vol. 2. art. 141, pp. 1–5. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2010.00141
  7. Ebner N.C., Johnson M.K. Age-group differences in interference fromyoung and older emotional faces. Cognition and Emotion, 2010, vol. 24, № 7, pp. 1095–1116. doi:10.1080/02699930903128395
  8. Marquez-Gonzalez M. et al. Emotional experience and regulation across the adult lifespan: Comparative analysis in three age groups. Psicothema, 2008, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 616–620.
  9. Carstensen L. et al. Emotional experience in everyday life across the adult life span. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2000, vol. 79, no. 4, pp. 644-655. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.79.4.644
  10. Fischer H., Nyberg L., Backman L. Age-related differences in brain regions supporting successful encoding of emotional faces. Cortex, 2010, vol. 46, no. 4, pp. 490–497. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2009.05.011
  11. Ochsner K.N. et al. For better or for worse: neural systems supporting the cognitive down- and up-regulation of negative emotion. NeuroImage, 2004, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 483–499. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.06.030
  12. Fredrickson B.L., Losada M.F. Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 2005, vol. 60, no. 7, pp. 678–686. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.60.7.678
  13. Healey M.K., Campbell K.L., Hasher L. Cognitive aging and increased distractibility: costs and potential benefits. In W.S. Sossin et al. (eds.), Progress in Brain Research. Vol. 169. Elsevier. Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 353–363. doi:10.1016/S0079-6123(07)00022-2
  14. Heckhausen J., Wrosch C., Schulz R. A motivational theory of lifespan development. Psychological Review, 2010, vol. 117, no. 1, pp. 32–60. doi:10.1037/a0017668.
  15. Fjell A.M. et al. High consistency of regional cortical thinning in aging across multiple samples. Cerebral Cortex, 2001, vol. 19, no. 9, pp. 2001–2012. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn232
  16. Hunter E.M., Phillips L.H., MacPherson S.E. Effects of Age on Cross-Modal Emotion Perception. Psychology & Aging, 2010, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 779–787. doi:10.1037/a0020528
  17. Mather M. The emotion paradox in the aging brain. Annals of the New York Academy of Scienses, 2012, vol. 1251, no. 1, pp. 33–49. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06471.x
  18. Shaw P. et al. Neurodevelopmental trajectories of the human cerebral cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 2008, vol. 28, no. 14, pp. 3586–3594. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5309-07.2008
  19. Nolen-Hoeksema S., Aldao A. Gender and age differences in emotion regulation strategies and their relationship to depressive symptoms. Personality and individual differences, 2011. Vol, 51, no. 6, pp. 704–708. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.06.012
  20. Ruthig J.C., Trisko J., Chipperfield J.G. Shifting positivity ratios: emotions and psychological health in later life. Aging & Mental Health, 2014, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 547–553. doi:10.1080/13607863.2013.866633
  21. Ryff C.D. Psychological Well-Being in Adult Life. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1995, vol. 4, № 4, P. 99–104. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.ep10772395
  22. Scheibe S., Blanchard-Fields F. Effects of regulating emotions on cognitive performance: What is costly for young adults is not so costly for older adults. Psychology and Aging, 2009, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 217–223. doi:10.1037/a0013807
  23. Scheibe S., Carstensen L.L. Emotional Aging: Recent Findings and Future Trends. Journals Of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 2010, vol. 65B, no. 2, pp. 135–144. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbp132
  24. Goldin P.R. et al. The neural bases of emotion regulation: reappraisal and suppression of negative emotion. Biological Psychiatry, 2008, vol. 63, no. 6, pp. 577–586. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.05.031
  25. Thomas R.C., Hasher L. The influence of emotional valence on age differences in early processing and memory. Psychology and aging, 2006, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 821–825. doi:10.1037/0882-7974.21.4.821

Information About the Authors

Olga Y. Strizhitskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Developmental Psychology and Differential Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7141-162X, e-mail: o.strizhitskaya@spbu.ru



Total: 2239
Previous month: 26
Current month: 2


Total: 1149
Previous month: 14
Current month: 2