How the Elderly Stay Positive

From Science:

Old There’s no news like bad news. The tabloids are full of accidents, gory murders, and mayhem, and people eat it up. But there may be a silver lining, at least for seniors. A new study finds that the human brain reacts less strongly to emotionally negative stimuli as we age, in effect making us more responsive to all things positive and less responsive to the dark and dismal. This bolsters a growing body of evidence showing that aging changes how the brain reacts to emotional stimuli.

Much of the media exploits what psychologists call the “negativity bias”: our tendency to pay more attention to the bad than to the good. This bias plays a role in a wide range of cognitive areas, making a headline about a murder more attention grabbing than one about a marriage, for example. However, in recent years, research has revealed that as we get older our emotional responses to the world around us become more positive and that the stereotype of the “grumpy old man” may actually be a myth. A number of studies have found that older people typically report a higher sense of well-being than younger people.

More here.