Professor Mathias Allemand discusses the importance of promoting healthy ageing as we see our lifespans increase in recent times
The importance of promoting healthy ageing has never been clearer. Individuals are living longer lives than ever before, which places greater importance on identifying factors and processes that contribute to the maintenance and promotion of better health, quality of life, and vital longevity. Though the final endpoint may be the same for all, individuals differ greatly in the extent to which they enact healthy lifestyle behaviours across adulthood into advanced old age, and in their likelihood for experiencing negative health risks. In recent decades, efforts to identify why some individuals experience more or less positive ageing trajectories have pointed to the value of considering personality science. The Differential Healthy Ageing research group directed by Dr. Mathias Allemand examines healthy ageing processes through the lens of personality science. This research group is affiliated at the University Research Priority Program “Dynamics of Healthy Ageing” of the University of Zurich that consider lifespan psychological, neurophysiological, neuroanatomical, and medical foundations underlying the maintenance of health and quality of life. The Differential Healthy Ageing research group examines interindividual differences (i.e., between persons) in personality traits as well as intraindividual (i.e., within persons over time) personality dynamics and processes that contribute to the maintenance and promotion of vital longevity. Basic research of the group focuses on long-term personality development across adulthood into advanced old age and on short-term personality dynamics and activities underlying the maintenance and promotion of health and well-being. This research uses multiple assessment methods to measure health and ageing processes and activities in daily life contexts as well as in laboratory settings. Applied research of the research group focuses on the development and evaluation of evidence-based personality intervention, prevention and consulting approaches to promote healthy ageing. A particularly attractive and innovative approach that the group is pursuing is the use of digital technology to support, guide and encourage people in their healthy ageing processes.