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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Older people are better at controlling their emotions than their children

A research study has found that regulating emotions – such as reducing negative emotions or inhibiting unwanted thoughts – is a resource-demanding process that disrupts the ability of young adults to simultaneously or subsequently perform tasks.

The study is among the first to demonstrate that the costs of emotion regulation vary across age groups.

Here are a couple of quotes from the press release

"Negative emotions can be toxic and disrupt one's balance in life, so the ability of older adults to regulate negative emotions serves to enhance their quality of life. Older adults are so efficient at dealing with their emotions that it doesn't cost them any decrease in performance, which is a really positive thing."

"The amount of resources necessary for older adults to maintain or regain emotional well-being, while performing well at other tasks might be less because they have a wealth of past experience in regulating their emotions – they've been doing it for a long time. On the other hand, younger adults don't tend to regulate their emotions, so it takes effort, which draws away resources so that they don't perform as well on tasks."

I am not sure what the practical applications of this knowledge are, but I am sure there are some. Dick Stroud

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