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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Who Wants To Live Forever

Who Wants To Live Forever[1]

         First of all I would like to say that one of my favorite songs, which I sing frequently, Who Wants to Live forever produced by the song group Queen with Freddie Mercury in the mid 1980’s.  Many of my previous posts have been about ageism.  This one approaches self ageism

         This research deals with self stereotypes.  The authors of the article tell us that “ We believe that older individuals’ internalized contribute to the formation of their self-perceptions of aging. Which in term can have internalized outcomes.”   It become projected inward rather that those of other isms.  In other words, “ When individuals n old age and the stereotypes become self-relevant.

         One of the interesting feature of self ageism is that “self stereotypes of aging can operate without the older individuals awareness. The researchers conducted two studies. In the first one, they tested the ideas about how this can happen.
Study 1
         Study 1 Hypothesis:  At various ages people with more positive aging self perceptions at the baseline (the age they were tested) will live longer. They had participants the were 50 years and older.
         They used five items:
1.   “Things get worse as I get older.”
2.   “I have as much pep as I did last year.”
3.   “As you get older you, you are less useful.”
4.   “I am as happy now as when I was younger.”
5.   “As I get older things are, (better, worse, or the same) as I thought they would be.  (choose one)
After statistical analysis the positive perceptions group lived on the average 7.6 years longer.  This impact was found with the control of gender, age, socioeconomic status, functional health and loneliness.

Study 2
The will to Live
         First of all the researchers tell us that; “We define the will to live as a perceived judgment that the perceived benefits of one’s life outweigh the perceived hardships.”  And, “the will to die occurs when the perceived hardships of one’s life outweigh the perceived benefits.”
         A will to live measure is the following;
1.  The questions were prefaced with   empty---full---hopeful, and worthless--- worthy.  There were 20 adjective questions connected with these.  For a full taste go online to Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging.  Good Luck

[1] Br. Levy & Martin D. Slade, Suzanne Kunkel, and Stanislav Kasl:  Longevity Increased by Positive Self- Perceptions of Aging, (2002)  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 83, No 2,  261-270.

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