Experience in applying the methodology for the study of psychological age in Ukraine: influence of psychological age on socio-political orientations
stmm. 2020 (2): 57-71
Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Deputy Director of the Sociological Service, Razumkov Center (16, Lavrska St., Kyiv, 01015)
The paper aims to study the relationship between psychological and chronological age, to identify factors affecting individual's perceptions of their psychological age, to disclose the impact of psychological age on socio-political orientations. The author used methodological approaches developed by Ye. Golovakha and A. Kronіk, who studied psychological age as “a measure of psychological past of personality” and, in particular, established the fact of predominance of psychological age’s undervaluation compared to chronological age. The results of the study carried out by the author in the 2017-2020, confirmed that the relationship between psychological and chronological age, detected in the beginning of the 1980s by Y. Golovakha and A. Kronіk, is resilient in times and under different macrosocial conditions. The author examines juvenile-associated socio-political orientations (orientations which more pronounced in younger age groups compared with older age groups, for example, support for Ukraine's membership in the European Union and NATO). The study shows that commitment to juvenile-associated socio-political orientations is related to change of age identity (when the individual most often seeks to self-identify with a younger age group than one he/she really belongs to). The study shows that youth in contemporary society is a reference age group, to which a significant proportion of members of society strive to be like (in imitation of social behavior and social values). This is due to the fact that in the contemporaneous culture the younger generation is associated with progressive social changes and to the fact that in modern society social success is associated in the mass conscious with youth. According to the study by Razumkov Centre, in all age groups percentage of those that assess their psychological age lower than chronological age increases together with the self-assessment of their welfare and with the level of their life satisfaction. The attitude of respondents to take their psychological age as lower than chronological age is related to the perception of youth as a reference socio-demographic group. Besides, the perception of youth as a reference socio-demographic group contributes to spreading the values and orientations of young people to middle and oldest age groups.
Keywords: psychological age; chronological age; socio-political orientations; reference group.
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