Scientific News Biology Anatomy UQ research finds aging is satisfying|
research finds aging is satisfying
University of Queensland research is
turning conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to grumpy old men and
Professor Bill von Hippel, from UQ's
School of Psychology, has been examining the links between people's age and
their social satisfaction and he has turned up some surprising results.
In collaboration with Julie Henry
and Diana Matovic from the University of New South Wales, Professor von Hippel
measured social activities and social satisfaction in older adults between the
ages of 66 and 91, and younger adults between the ages of 18 and 30.
He said they found younger adults
engaged in a lot more social activities, but were no happier with their social
lives than older adults.
"Despite older people engaging
in fewer social activities with others and spending more time alone each day,
they are just as socially satisfied as their younger counterparts,"
Professor von Hippel said.
The reason for this social
resilience seems to lie in how older and younger adults perceive their social
"Our research suggests that if
a young person and an old person have the same experience, the older adult is
likely to find it more uplifting," he said.
"Older adults appear to see the
good things in life more easily and are less likely to be upset by the little
things that go wrong.
"As a consequence, their daily
experiences bring them just as much satisfaction as younger adults, even if they
have lost friends or a spouse, or if they can no longer get out as much as they
"This may be the wisdom of
ageing, the ability to experience everyday life as uplifting."
The research was published in the
June issue of the American Psychological Association journal Psychology and
Contact: Andrew Dunne, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Publishing date: July 20, 2008