Imagery and aging: the symbolic images of three nonagenarians

This is a hermeneutic essay on the symbolic images of nonagenarians aimed to investigate the prevailing structures of their imagery and psychic organization. Stories, drawings, dreams, reveries and memories were collected during weekly open interviews and analyzed according to the Theory of Structures of Imaginary by Gilbert Durand, who proposes a non-drive-based interpretation of symbols. The sampling criteria were: people older than ninety years, absence of arteriosclerotic senile dementia (being clinically healthy), social activity and voluntary participation. The results revealed the absence of a recurrent structure of imaginary, an exuberant symbolical imagination, permeability through contents related to memory and imagination in addition to creativity and vivid affective processes.

imagination; imaginary; symbol; aging; gerontology


Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia Av.Bandeirantes 3900 - Monte Alegre, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 16) 3315-3829 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil
E-mail: paideia@usp.br