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Older adults avoid bad news to stay positive
Older adults avoid negative material in an attempt to stay positive about life, new research has suggested. Published in the Association for Psychological Science journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, the study found these individuals display more positive emotions and regulate away from more adverse emotional states than their younger counterparts.
Derek Isaacowitz of Northeastern University demonstrated this is the case because those in the later years of life often move their eyes away from negative material and direct them towards more uplifting pieces.
It was shown that while younger adults show the most negative looking when in a bad mood, older people tend to do the opposite when in a similar state of mind.
As a result, Mr Isaacowitz and his colleagues suggested there is a distinct link between positive looking and mood, with those demonstrating good attentional abilities using positive looking patterns to regulate the ways they are feeling.
Chartered Psychologist Dr Peter Martin, Chair of our Division of Counselling Psychology, says: "this is intuitively correct and may well be a needed defence against impening acceptance of mortality."
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