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Attitudes About Aging Different from Reality

A recent study has shown that reality was different from several misconceptions that people had about aging. A popular misconception among both the young// and the old is that the happiest days of people's lives occur when they're young in spite of research having shown the opposite

While old age was equated with unhappiness for other people, individuals tend to think they'll be happier than most in their old age. In other words older people seem to "mis-remember" how happy they were as youths, just as youths "mis-predict" how happy (or unhappy) they will be as they age.

The research was performed by VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan researchers involving over 540 adults who were between the ages of 21 and 40, or over age 60.

Each of the participants of the study were asked to rate or predict their own individual happiness at their current age, at age 30 and at age 70, and also to judge how happy most people are at those ages. The results are published in the June issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies, a major research journal in the field of positive psychology

. According to lead author, Heather Lacey, Ph.D., a VA postdoctoral fellow and member of the U-M Medical School's Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine "Overall, people got it wrong, believing that most people become less happy as they age, when in fact this study and others have shown that people tend to become happier over time. Not only do younger people believe that older people are less happy, but older people believe they and others must have been happier 'back then'. Neither belief is accurate.’

These findings help to understand young people's decisions about habits like smoking or saving money that would have an effect on their health or finances later in life. In addition midlife crisis behavior among the middle aged is also explained through this research

Stereotypes about aging abound in our so
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