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NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES ABOUT AGING MAY SHORTEN YOUR LIFE BY AFFECTING WILL TO LIVE

psychology

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NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES ABOUT AGING MAY SHORTEN YOUR LIFE BY AFFECTING WILL TO LIVE


NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES ABOUT AGING MAY SHORTEN YOUR LIFE BY AFFECTING WILL TO LIVE

Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging May Influence Longevity More Than Other Health Factors, Such as Not Smoking or Exercising

1. Even if we are not aware of them, negative thoughts about aging that we pick up from society may be cutting years off our lives, according to Becca Levy, Ph.D., the lead researcher of a study conducted at Yale University's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. The study found that older people with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. The findings appear in the August issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).




2. The 7.5 year higher longevity for those with the more positive attitudes toward aging remained even after other factors were taken into account, including age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness and overall health. 'The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less,' said the study authors. 'It is also greater than the independent contributions of lower body mass index, no history of smoking, and a tendency to exercise, each of these factors has been found to contribute between one and three years of added life.'

3. Using information from 660 participants aged 50 and older from a small town in Ohio who were part of the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR), Dr. Levy and her co-authors, Martin D. Slade, MPH and Stanislav V. Kasl, Ph.D., of Yale University and Suzanne Kunkel, Ph.D., of Miami University of Ohio, compared mortality rates to responses made 23 years earlier by the participants (338 men and 322 women). The responses included agreeing or disagreeing with such statements as 'As you get older, you are less useful.'

4. In the same study, the researchers also find that the will to live partially accounts for the relationship between positive self-perceptions of aging and survival, but does not completely account for difference in longevity. Another factor likely involved, according to the researchers, is cardiovascular response to stress, which Dr. Levy's earlier research has shown can be adversely affected when elderly persons are exposed to negative stereotypes of aging.

5. These negative views of aging can operate without older people's awareness, say the researchers, because they are thought to be internalized in childhood and unlikely to be consciously evaluated as we get older.

6. 'Our study carries two messages. The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy; the encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy,' say the authors.

Article: 'Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging,' Becca R. Levy and Martin D. Slade, Yale University, Suzanne Kunkel, Miami University of Ohio, and Stanislav V. Kasl, Yale University; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 83, No. 2.

Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office or at: https://www.apa.org/journals/psp/press_releases/august_2002/psp832261.html

(The American Psychological Association (APA), in Washington, DC, is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 155,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 53 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting human welfare.)

READING (Skimming)

Read the text, then discuss in pairs and decide what is the main message. Then write it down in the space provided.

EXTENSIVE READING

1. Re-read purposefully each paragraph, following the 'algorithm':

o        mark main ideas and circle key words;

o        write a '?' beside any sentence not understood;

o        briefly express the main ideas into your own words;

o        review - after finishing writing, check the question marks ('?') using the dictionary or with a colleague, and review the main ideas noted,

o        reflect on how useful the information will be for you.

Use the table provided below to present the results of the reading tasks:

Paragr.

Main ideas – in note form (using key words)

“?”

unknown words/ structures

Definition/explanation/translation/synonyms/antonyms etc.+ e.g.

1

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

2. Read attentively paragraph 4, then supply the missing words without checking against the text:

In the same study, the ___________ also find that the will to live partially ___________ the relationship between positive self-___________ of aging and survival, but does not completely account for difference in longevity. Another factor likely _________, according to the researchers, is cardiovascular __________ to stress, which Dr. Levy's earlier research has shown can be adversely __________ when elderly persons are exposed to ____________ stereotypes of aging.

VOCABULARY

Look back through the text for the correct words to match the following definitions:

Paragraph

Definition

Word found and dictionary+ student’s examples

1

A belief or opinion of oneself

2

The length of time for which a person, animal or thing exists

3

Time spent alive



4

Living for a long time

5

Knowledge that something exists, or knowledge or experience of a particular thing

Now find the definitions (and examples in sentences) of the remaining words. Use only English-English Dictionaries. They are easily accessible on the INTERNET (see www.cambridge.org, www.longman.org, www.abacon.com/psychsite

6

Life expectancy

5

view

4

stereotype

Write as many derived words as possible. Add 5 more words selected from  the text;

NOUN

ADJECTIVE

VERB

ADVERB

To perceive

To find

To contribute

Response

survival

discouragingly

(to be) aware (of)

then make up sentences with 8 of them.

1.__________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

2.__________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______3.__________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

4. __________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

5. __________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

6. __________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

7. __________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

8. __________ ______ ____ __________ ______ ____ _____ _______ ______ _______

Give the English equivalent of the following:

Studiul a constatat ca persoanele virstnice cu o viziune mai pozitiva asupra imbatrinirii traiesc mai mult/ au o durata de viata mai mare.

Longevitatea a fost mai mare cu 7,5 ani la pacientii care au adoptat o atitudine mai pozitiva fata de imbatrinire, iar factorul determinant a constat intr-o perceptie mai pozitiva a procesului de imbatrinire.

Datele obtinute de la cei 660 de participanti la studiu, cu virste peste 50 de ani, au dat ocazia sa se compare ratele mortalitatii cu cele inregistrate cu 23 de ani inainte de la aceiasi subiecti.






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