Study: Older may mean happier

Jan 31, 2007

A U.S. neuropsychologist says her research indicates senior citizens are more often happier than their children and grandchildren.

Associate Professor Stacey Wood at Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., said her study suggests older adults process negative information differently than do their younger counterparts.

In a recent experiment with collaborator Michael Kisley at the University of Colorado, both older and younger adults were shown a series of negative images (such as dead animals) or positive images (such as bowls of ice cream) and the degree to which brain activity increased was recorded. The results showed older adults are more likely to be less responsive to negative or unpleasant information.

Wood says, "In general, humans have a tendency to pay more attention to 'bad' than to 'good,' a phenomenon called the negativity bias." Wood said. "This tendency decreases as we age."

The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: MRI shows association between reading to young children and brain activity

Related Stories

Myth of tolerant dogs and aggressive wolves refuted

1 hour ago

Dogs are regarded as more tolerant and less aggressive compared to their ancestors, the wolves. Researchers from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna question this image. They show in a ...

Recommended for you

Mental disorders don't predict future violence

Apr 24, 2015

Most psychiatric disorders - including depression—do not predict future violent behavior, according to new Northwestern Medicine longitudinal study of delinquent youth. The only exception is substance abuse and dependence.

Practical applications of 'nudge' psychology

Apr 24, 2015

Following the publication of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's persuasive book "Nudge", nudges have become a popular tool in many fields from tax collection to public health and not least among advertisers, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.