An Exploration into Stage Authenticity
Roxanna Hackett Dissertation 2009.doc (328.5Kb)
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The authentic self is an expanding field of study, however little research has been done to conceptualise whether the nature of its existence is dependent on age-related social and personal demands. This research proposes that the manifestation of the authentic self is the subjective perception of behaviour which is congruent with an individual’s ‘true’ self. 97 participants carried out an extensive questionnaire which focused on the sense of authenticity across the lifespan along with details of individual differences. Current personality and guiding life values were examined as possible foundations for predicting the authentic life stage as well as its defining characteristics. In particular, conscientiousness, openness to experiences and self-transcendence values were found to explain certain characteristics which enhance feelings of authenticity. The authentic life stage was defined by heightened levels of characteristics relating to contentment, social success and personal achievement. It is concluded that authentic behaviour is maximised during Middle Adulthood due to the optimal conditions of the social structure which act in accordance with individual agency.