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BPS Research Digest round up

11 October 2019

Our new weekly round up of news items from the BPS Research Digest. The digest blogs about psychological science while also casting a critical eye over its methods. With over 100,000 followers across social media the digest blog continues to grow in popularity and international prominence, attracting millions of readers every year.

As the number of retirees in the world increases, so does the amount of research into the ups and downs of what psychologists’ call a major life transition.

In this week’s Digest, several studies focus on retirement in different countries with some interesting and varied results.

  • A long-running Finnish study found that 1 in 8 retirees developed ‘risky’ drinking behaviours, with those in rural areas most at risk.  However, this declined over time and participants reported that their quality of sleep improved.

  • An Australian study of more than 25,000 older Aussies found lots of positive benefits for retirees. In particular they spent more time being active and sleeping, and spent less time sitting around.

  • The question of how beneficial this is to our physical health is unclear. A review of 22 studies by BMC Public Health, published in 2013, found the evidence on this point is contradictory, but for mental health there ‘was strong evidence…for retirement having a beneficial effect.’

  • When you retire would you be insulted or unaffected if you were replaced by a robot? A North American and European study on 2,000 people found that most people would prefer to be replaced with a robot than another human. Apparently this was less threatening to their identity and self-worth.

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