On today’s Moment of Science, How Emotions Mature with Age.
If you spend a lot of time with older folks, you may notice that their behavior is a bit calmer than that of the younger generation. Older people rarely go out and meet new people. And they almost never seem to get angry. Even when they’re in an argument they keep their voices low, and they speak calmly and almost sweetly.
Basically, they invest their time into deep, intimate friendships and they are in control of their anger. Their emotional health probably has a lot to do with their age. Research has found that as people age they experience fewer negative emotions like anger and that their positive emotions like happiness last longer in duration than they do in younger people. Older people also seem to be better at controlling their negative emotions so that even when they are talking about problems in their marriage, for example, they don’t let their anger get the best of them.
What’s more, elderly people seem to care more about the emotional quality of already established relationships. One researcher theorizes that because older people have less time left in their lives they are more likely to desire relationships with emotional depth rather than more fleeting, casual relationships.