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Normative & Nonnormative Influences

Normative age-graded influences in life are experiences caused by biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces and are highly correlated with chronological age (Psychology). Examples of these are marriage and retirement (Theoretical). They are the result of biological or environmental influences. Puberty and menopause are examples of biological influences on life. Graduation is caused by environmental influences. Age-related influences are considered normative if they occur frequently and are similar in duration and timing for most of the population within a culture.

Normative history-graded influences are events that most people in a culture experience at the same point in historical time (Psychology). For instance, wars and epidemics are normative history-graded influences: they are normative because they are experienced by everyone and they are history-graded because everyone experiences them at the same point in time (Theoretical). Normative history-graded influences have biological and environmental components. The AIDS epidemic and the internet revolution are history-graded events.

Nonnormative (idiosyncratic) influences are rare or random events which may be significant for a particular individual, but are not experienced by most people in the culture (Psychology). Such events can be chance meetings, accidents, illnesses, business failures or the death of a loved one. Nonnormative events are particularly significant during middle and late adulthood (Theoretical).

"Psychology of Aging." 2005. 16 Nov.1005.

"Theoretical Perspectives Relevant to Developmental Psychology." 2005. 16 Nov. 2005.


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Normative & Nonnormative Influences. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:34, February 21, 2017, from