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Archives for Aging

Aging

Are We Scaring Kids Off Of Adulthood?

A friend is fretting about her 22-year-old son, who is living at home and, she fears, not getting it together.

This is a family with plenty of dough. The boy is well-educated and has been well cared for, despite some dysfunctional family fun, which few of us escape in this world. My friend complains that he’s lazy and over-entitled. He hasn’t been knocking himself out to find a job, and he’s drinking too much.

What’s a...
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Aging

Good Stuff I’ve Learned In A Year Of Real World Research

This blog celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, so I am therefore compelled (it's the law) to reflect on the past year.

Writing Real World Research has been fun and also a lot of work. I read a lot more research than I end up writing about. Academic writing is no easy read and I am eternally grateful to those researchers who manage to slip a little joke in here and there. Some papers...
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Aging

What It Takes To Be a Lifelong Learner

A friend learning her way around her new iPad wonders if learning really is different as we get older. And what’s the deal with that?

The short answer is yes, our ability to learn does change as we age. We get slower.

We have diminished capacity in our working memory as we age. That is, you can’t throw too much stuff at us at once. As a rule, it takes older people longer to learn things...
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Aging

How Researchers Are Getting It Wrong

Much has been made in recent years of research indicating that willpower is an exhaustible resource. This research suggests that if we exercise self control for a few hours to resist Facebook and do our work, for example, we will have a hard time resisting that oh-really-I-shouldn’t brownie sundae. There’s a whole book based on this research:  Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength is by one of the leaders in this...
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Aging

How the Internet Destroys Our Past

“Say hello to your past,” read the subject line of an email that landed in my junk email box.

It was from my old friend Meryl. I hadn’t spoken to her in decades. A few weeks later, we met for coffee.

Later I received a Facebook friend request from a mutual friend. Within three days, we had located three more people from that old gang of ours. Then we were...
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Aging

The Language of Dementia

New research from Penn State and the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging finds that caregivers of people with dementia are not listening to what the people they care for want.

The researchers interviewed 256 pairs of people. In each pair, one person had  mild to moderate dementia, the other was the caregiver.

From a press release from Penn State:
The researchers interviewed members of the pairs separately, asking questions related to how much...
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Aging

Like Mother Like Daughter Like Mother

According to research that will be published in the Journal of Consumer Behavior, women are more likely to buy clothes and make-up their teenage daughters like than the other way around.

A press release explains:
The study, conducted through questionnaires, sampled 343 mother-daughter pairs, with an average age of 44 for the mothers and 16 for the daughters. The researchers found that if a mother is young at heart, has high fashion consciousness and...
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Aging

Me And My Big Nose

When I was a teenager in a predominately Jewish girls’ summer camp, we had a little joke: For your sweet sixteen, you got either a pearl ring or a nose job.

Several friends opted for the nose. I didn’t, although my nose is no less prominent than theirs were. I like my nose just fine. I have a nose like my mother had and my father had and my brother has. And my grandfather had, for...
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Aging

Debt As A Rite of Passage

New research says that young people feel pretty good about having debt. In fact, for young young adults—ages 18 to 27—debt enhances self-esteem. And that includes both college loans and credit card debt.

Behavioral economics is a burgeoning field, and research into our relationship with dept is pretty new, and particularly relevant in our debt-burdened age. And this debt lovefest seems to be a new phenomenon.

Kids' romance with debt is tough for me to...
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Aging

Unfriending in the Real World


A recently published study finds that as we age, we become more content and have more stable and yet more complex emotional lives. We begin experiencing more  “poignancy,” which the researchers define as having positive and negative emotions at the same time.

Boy oh boy. Poignancy. There’s a lot of that to life, isn’t there?

The lead researcher behind the study is Stanford University developmental...
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