Activity Theory of Aging
Long Island University-C.W. Post Campus
Jennifer L. Bifulco
Throughout this semester we have come across many psychological and social theories. From Vaillant’s aging well, to Erikson’s life stages, to Leont’ev’s activity theory, there is a lot to learn and to understand. For the purpose of this paper, I am going to focus on the Activity Theory of aging. After some thorough research on this topic I was able to come up with some great information about
this theory that I will incorporate into this paper and make you understand the theory that way that I understand it.
Activity Theory (AT) was initially developed by Leont’ev during the twentieth century in the former Soviet Union (Leont’ev, 1978; Leont’ev, 1981a, 1981b). Leont’ev sought to understand human activities. Activity theory is dynamic. It can be used by a variety of disciplines to understand the way people act. The idea behind many programs and services for older adults is that activities have important benefits and that they contribute to increased life satisfaction for everyone. According to an article written in the Journal of Computer Science and Technology, activity is defined as the way a subject (either an individual or a group) moves towards an object with the purpose of getting certain results. Activity objects can be a concrete thing (such as a program) or something more abstract like an idea. When individuals engage and interact with their environment, the result is the production of tools. Tools can be used to understand the object or to improve the communication and motivation of the activity participants. Leont’ev pointed out that people engage in actions that do no satisfy a need by themselves, but they do contribute towards the eventual satisfaction of a need. Participation in an activity is performing conscious actions that have an immediate and defined goal. Actions turn into operations when they become... [continues]
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