Navigation Links
Seniors Get Boost From Bad News About the Young
Date:9/2/2010

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Older people prefer to read negative news stories about the young, possibly because it makes them feel better about themselves, a new study suggests.

"The more time they spent with negative news about young people, the higher self-esteem they reported. They may get some self-esteem boost out of this," said study author Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, an associate professor at Ohio State University's School of Communication.

As for young people in the study, they weren't particularly drawn to stories about older people, or to negative stories about any group.

Overall, the findings suggest that people "are not just neutral processors of information. They have a lot of biases in their selections," said Knobloch-Westerwick.

The researchers recruited 178 young people (aged 18 to 30) and 98 older people (aged 50 to 65) in Germany and asked them to read news stories online. The participants were able to choose which stories they wanted to read.

Some of the stories were "human-interest" pieces that focused on a specific person. The researchers wanted to figure out if the participants had a preference for stories that were about bad things happening to non-celebrities (losing a malpractice suit, for instance) or good things (winning a malpractice suit).

The findings appear in the September issue of the Journal of Communication.

Why did the older people prefer negative stories about younger people? When it came to stories about older people -- like themselves -- they had no preference for positive versus negative.

Society tends to assign older people to a lower status than younger people, Knobloch-Westerwick explained. Looking for negative stories about the young -- those with a higher status -- may help older people feel better, she said.

Also, "everybody likes to think they're better than other people in some way," she said. "If you get information that confirms that, you might like it."

This could explain why older people who chose negative stories about the young had higher self-esteem.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor who studies happiness at the University of California, Riverside, said the study conflicts with other research that shows happier people "don't compare themselves to people who are worse off."

Lyubomirsky added, "They feel good about themselves, and they don't need it. It's like putting someone down to make yourself feel better."

So why does this research matter? It helps shed light on how people make decisions about what they read, Knobloch-Westerwick said.

"We think people are rational and they use the news to stay up to date as part of the democratic process," she said. "But a lot of other factors play a role. You like to see your own group do well, and get a self-esteem boost out of it."

More information

Get details about mental health from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Communication, Ohio State University, Columbus; Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor, psychology, University of California, Riverside; September 2010, Journal of Communication


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Caring Rose Home Care Launched To Help Seniors Live Independently
2. Elevators Can Bring Injury to Seniors
3. Kidneys From Older Donors Suitable for Seniors
4. When Seniors Tutor Kids, They Sharpen Their Own Minds As Well
5. RetireSafe Survey Says Seniors Are Struggling With Increased Costs Without an Increased Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment
6. Hospital Stays May Spur Brain Decline in Seniors
7. Senate Inaction On Medicare Hurts Seniors, Military and Boomers
8. National Study Reports Staggering Spending Increases Among Seniors With Chronic Conditions Through Original Medicare - Special Needs Plan Program Offers Solution For Those In Texas
9. President Obama Gets Virtual Colonoscopy (CT Colonography) But Medicare Denies CTC Coverage to Seniors
10. MainStreet MD Launches Personal Safety Solutions for Children and Seniors Built On SensorLogic's Cloud Computing Platform
11. SarahCare(R) and Posit Science Corporation(R) Join Forces to Bring Brain Fitness to Seniors at SarahCare(R) of Minnesota
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Seniors Get Boost From Bad News About the Young
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 , ... The annual time ... Period (or Annual Election Period), is ending December 7th. Currently-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries who are ... or prescription drug plan (Part D) need to make changes during this period order ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... More than half of American teens report losing their virginity before they ... child about sex related topics, less than 60 percent spoke about deeper themes like ... launch of its second edition of the “Sexual Wellness” campaign, aiming to address the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Sourced from the Isbre Springs ... properties including its unmatched natural purity of just 6 ppm TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) ... Nothing Water has been available in several ShopRite and FoodTown stores in NJ and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... On November 24th, 2016, Thanksgiving morning, ... different sites throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This is the largest meal delivery ... Thanksgiving morning by putting together individual meals via assembly lines and passing them ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Northridge, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... Elyson, announce that they now offer a comprehensive in-house dental plan for all ... dentists have developed a plan that gives patients a number of perks, including ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of Jain PharmaBiotech,s ... Companies" to their offering. ... , , Drug delivery ... value of drug delivery technologies and the anticancer drugs are difficult ... organs involved and the types of cancer as well as according ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 bioLytical Laboratories (das "Unternehmen"), ... diesem Monat seinen  INSTI HIV-Selbsttests  in einer Version mit geringeren Kosten einzuführen.  ... ... New: INSTI Self Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444833 ) ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov 30, 2016 Research and ... Detachable Coils 2017 - MedCore" report to their offering. ... , , ... and cerebral blood vessel malformations. The detachable coil embolization treatment of cerebral ... An aneurysm is a weakened area in the wall of an artery ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: