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101 Facts About Ageing #27: Self-Perceptions Of Ageing

Posted on 13 August 2021

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As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an American sociologist, politician, and diplomat once said: “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts”. And we wholeheartedly agree. A shared set of facts is the first step to building a better world with longevity for all. In that spirit, we are creating a series that covers 101 indisputable facts about ageing, health and longevity.

When asked how old they ‘feel’, adults claim to feel younger than their current chronological age on average. Surveys have found that this relationship becomes stronger with increasing age: as an individual grows older, the lower their ‘felt age’ becomes when compared with their chronological age. Only adults below the age of 25 report feeling older than their chronological age on average.

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People over Forty Feel 20% Younger than their Age: Subjective Age across the Lifespan

When asked what is their ‘ideal age to live until’, middle aged adults report the lowest values (generally aspiring to live until their late 80s), while those above age 60 or below age 20 are more likely to hope to live into their 90s.

‘Age hoped to reach’ according to age.

When asked when certain transitions in age groups occur, such as at what age does one enter ‘middle age’ or ‘older adulthood’, older adults consider these transitions as ocurring later than younger adults do.

Perceived ages for the beginning of (A) older adulthood, (B) middle-age, (C) adulthood (D) young adulthood, according to the age of the respondant

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    Age Differences in Age Perceptions and Developmental Transitions:

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