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:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, ... remain in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and ... Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop ... The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated his ... implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure is ... to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to help ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  In a startling report released today, National Safety ... lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... Of the 28 failing states, three – Michigan ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... their offering. The current ... environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing population creates ... drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The introduction of ... but development is still in its infancy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: