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date: 10 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter introduces the Handbook—also a tribute to the late Fredda Blanchard-Fields—as a retrospective on a new field of adult development that has emerged out of conceptualizations and research at the intersections among socioemotional development, social cognition, emotion, coping, and everyday problem solving. This field roundly rejects the deficit model of aging, highlights the dynamic nature of socioemotional development and the radical individualization of individual trajectories, and emphasizes the need for a cross-level examination (from biology and neuroscience to cognitive and social psychology) of the determinants of emotional and socioemotional behavior. It ultimately sees and seeks wisdom, in both its cognitive and social guise, as the culminating point of the human endeavor.

Keywords: social development, emotional development, aging, successful aging, problem solving, adults, wisdom

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