At Every Age We All Agree, Old Age Is Something Older Than Us!
Jack Weinberg is famous for saying, "Never trust anyone over 30." That might have made some sense when I first heard about it in a speech out of Berkley in 1964 when I was 12. It seemed kind of silly to say in 1982 when I actually turned 30 and of course 20 years later in 2002 it sounded ludicrous at 50. The point being that our perception of age changes as we age. Duh.
Michigan State University researchers polled over 500,000 online to explore the idea that we may think a certain age was old and then when we hit that age we find we didn't feel old at all!
The Spartan scientists talked to people ages 10 to 89. They found out people in their teens and early 20s thought turning 50 made somebody old. Still nearly 30,000 said they thought middle age began at age 30.
The operating principle here according to study leaders is the perception that being old is a negative thing so we want to put it off as long as possible. Once again, Duh.
At the same time there are plenty of studies that show older adults actually have really rewarding lives and are often happier than young adults. One last question - who are they who want to live the longest? Answer - The oldest and youngest study youngest study respondents and they want to live into their early 90s. (EurekAlert!)