Does Michelangelo care about age? A lifespan perspective on the Michelangelo phenomenon

Bühler, Janina L. and Weidmann, Rebekka and Kumashiro, Madoka and Grob, Alexander. (2019) Does Michelangelo care about age? A lifespan perspective on the Michelangelo phenomenon. Journal of social and personal relationships, 36 (4). pp. 1392-1412.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73776/

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Humans are motivated to expand their actual self toward an ideal self. Known as the Michelangelo phenomenon, movement toward the ideal self can be facilitated through an affirming romantic partner and is linked to positive life outcomes. Yet, research on the Michelangelo phenomenon has primarily focused on young adult samples, and it remains unknown whether the framework generalizes across the adult life span. The authors addressed this shortcoming by examining the Michelangelo phenomenon in a three-generation sample of 505 adults aged 18–90 years (M = 47.2 years). Multilevel analyses revealed one age effect on the framework, showing that being seen by the partner in a manner congruent with one’s ideal self (i.e., partner perceptual affirmation) becomes more important for relationship satisfaction with increasing age. Otherwise, age did not affect the Michelangelo phenomenon, suggesting life-span generalizability of the framework. By highlighting personal growth processes that continue across the life span, the present findings add to theories of successful aging.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie
07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Persönlichkeits- und Entwicklungspsychologie > Entwicklungs- und Persönlichkeitspsychologie (Grob)
UniBasel Contributors:Grob, Alexander
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Sep 2020 08:17
Deposited On:22 Sep 2020 08:17

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