Socioemotional selectivity theory is a psychological theory that explains how people’s goals and motivations change as they age. The theory proposes that as people get older, they become more focused on obtaining positive emotional experiences and maintaining their emotional well-being. This means that they may prioritize spending time with loved ones, engaging in enjoyable activities, and avoiding stressful or negative situations.
Socioemotional selectivity theory also suggests that older people are more selective about the goals and activities that they pursue. This means that they may be less likely to engage in activities that are challenging or require a lot of effort, and may instead focus on activities that are more likely to provide emotional rewards. For example, an older person may be more likely to attend a social event with friends than to take on a difficult work project. This selective focus on emotional well-being is thought to help older people maintain their happiness and satisfaction as they age.