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The Behavioral Psychology of Early and Middle Adulthood

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“Influence is the process of affecting the thoughts, behavior, or feelings of another person” (Nelson, 2013, p. 184). The type of influence that a person may use, could depend on their age and maturity level. There are eight different influence tactics: pressure, upward appeals, exchange, coalition, ingratiation, rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation. The purpose of this article is to look at the relationship between age and influence tactics.

Early Adulthood

This is the age when most individuals enter the workforce. They have not completely matured out of the kid stage and are still unsure of where they want to go in life at first. The early adulthood will include ages 17 – 40. “The first three phases of early adulthood comprising early adult transitions (17-22), entering the adult world (23-28) and thirties transition (29-33) are grouped together to form the novice phase, and the last phase of early adulthood is termed the settling down period (34-39)” (Lewis, 2014, p. 2149 – 2150). By the novice phase of early adulthood, most individuals have become more settled in the position they hope to achieve. Individuals in the novice phase are less committed to their jobs and less satisfied with work. They haven’t settled on what they want to do in life and they are still forming dreams, relationships, and a family. These individuals normally don’t respond to the influence tactics, such as performance ratings and promotions, because they don’t want to stay with that job long-term. When individuals reach the settle down stage, they strive for advancement and reputation. They strive for promotions and are less likely to leave an organization. They are likely to employ impression management tactics in order to feel a need for power.

Middle Adulthood

“The midlife transition (40-45) is the first phase of middle adulthood and is a huge turning point in an individual’s life” (Lewis, 2014, p.2152). These individuals have kind of cooled off on the desires to be successful. They change their focus on to their family rather than on their jobs. “Employees going through the midlife transition and entering middle adulthood phases often find value in lowering their competitive rivalry and instead, supporting the development of others” (Lewis, 2014, p. 2152). They are more likely to help others and pass their knowledge on to others.

Fifties Transition

This is the last transition that is discussed because most individuals are seeking retirement in this period or a little after. By this age, individuals start to care less about what others think and more about forming their own opinion. They have strong ideas concerning politics, business, religion, art and science. “Although tactics may be used to combat the negative consequences of age-related discrimination, for the most part, individuals in the latter part of middle adulthood now become receivers instead of senders of influence tactics” (Lewis, 2014, p. 2153).

What I Learned

From the article, I learned that age and the way that an individual can be influenced is a big relationship. Younger individuals in the workplace are not easily influenced because they don’t care much about promotions but the amount of influence and individual care increases as they age. From chapter 11, I learned that there are many sources of power in the workplace. Not all of the power that one can experience is positive though. Some individuals may allow power to get to them and use it in force. However, there is a way to use power in an ethical method.

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The Behavioral Psychology of Early and Middle Adulthood. (2018, November 05). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 19, 2022, from
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