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Our opinions on old age change as we get older ourselves. This, from researchers at Michigan State University.

The research team surveyed 502,548 people between ages 10 and 89 about their age perceptions. Nearly 30,000 of them reported that middle age begins at age 30. Researchers found this interesting, as life expectancy in the US has increased from 70 to 79 years since 1965, which means middle age is closer to age 40.

Participants answered additional age-related questions, like what age they hoped to live to. Researchers found that preferences varied among age groups: kids and young adults hoped to live into their 90s, while those in their 30s and 40s hoped to live to 88. This number then started to rise in 50-year-old participants and reached a high of 93 in 80-year-olds. 

Collectively, these findings suggest that our age perceptions and preferences change over time. Researchers say that what we consider to be “old” changes as we age.


Chopik, W. J., Bremner, R. H., & Johnson, D. J. (2018, February 1). Age Differences in Age Perceptions and Developmental Transitions. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved on February 28, 2018 from


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Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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