In that previous studies have linked aging with greater happiness, Stanford University (California, USA) researchers report that as people age, they become more emotionally stable, experiencing happier and more productive living. Laura Carstensen and colleagues studied a group of 184 Americans, ages 18 to 94 years at the study’s start in 1993, for an 12-year period. Periodically, the subjects were surveyed to assess their level of happiness, satisfaction , and comfort at various timepoints in the study period. Over the years, the older subjects reported having fewer negative emotions and more positive ones compared with their younger days. But even with the good outweighing the bad, older people were inclined to report a mix of positive and negative emotions more often than younger test subjects. The team concludes that: “Emotional experience predicted mortality; controlling for age, sex, and ethnicity, individuals who experienced relatively more positive than negative emotions in everyday life were more likely to have survived over a 13 year period.”
Carstensen, Laura L.; Turan, Bulent; Scheibe, Susanne; Ram, Nilam; Ersner-Hershfield, Hal; Samanez-Larkin, Gregory R.; Brooks, Kathryn P.; Nesselroade, John R. “Emotional experience improves with age: Evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling.” Psychology and Aging, Oct 25, 2010.
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