Title page for ETD etd-10302012-120604

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Law, Eloise
URN etd-10302012-120604
Document Title A phenomenological inquiry into the experiential world of ‘Second Life’ for individuals aged 60 years and older
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof L Human Supervisor
  • geropsychology
  • elderly
  • gerontology
  • developmental psychology
  • cyberpsychology
  • virtual world
  • Second Life
  • descriptive phenomenology
Date 2012-04-17
Availability unrestricted
This study qualitatively investigated older adults’ experience of Second Life from a descriptive phenomenological perspective. Second Life is a virtual world found on the Internet and is considered to be a cyber reality that simulates aspects of everyday real life. The participant group comprised of five individuals, between the ages of 60 and 79 years of age, who have been participating in Second Life for longer than six months. All of the participants reside in the United States and all of the participants have a tertiary education. The research revealed three essential themes to older individuals’ experience of Second Life that deals with: (1) Familiarisation with Second Life; (2) Connecting in Second Life; and (3) Second Life as a Place of Recreation. The research indicated that older adults seem to find value in their Second Life participation and tend to be actively involved and contributing members in this virtual world. These findings have implications for developmental theories in psychology that address later stages in life, and the researcher especially considers Erik Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development. Additional implications for adults in the later stages of life and the discipline of psychology are also considered.

Copyright © 2011, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Law, E 2011, A phenomenological inquiry into the experiential world of ‘Second Life’ for individuals aged 60 years and older, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10302012-120604 / >


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