Sustainable Satisfaction: How Aging Makes Your Mind More Charitable

The Huffington Post:

What is it that draws so many of us to community causes as we age? Is it just an excess of wealth that inspires philanthropy, or are our brains actually learning to perceive our relationships with the world around us in different ways?

Part of the answer may be that as we grow older, we’re also growing more satisfied with what we already have. According to one recent study, our overall opinions of our own well-being, our relationships and our career status tend to rise later in life — and not just for those who’ve spent the past few decades clawing their way to the top.

As the journal Psychological Science reports, a team led by Angelina R. Sutin of Florida State University College of Medicine compared survey data from several thousand respondents over a 30-year period. Though earlier researchers had interpreted this data to imply that happiness peaks in middle age and declines from then on, Sutin and her colleagues analyzed the data in a different way: Instead of tracking each person’s satisfaction levels across the same series of years, the researchers tracked each individual’s satisfaction ratings over time.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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