Age and emotional intelligence

I was fascinated to read in The Sydney Morning Herald the other day that psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have published the results of two surveys indicating that people in their 60s have a higher level of emotional intelligence than younger people.

One study found that older people were better able to see positives in the midst of adversity, and were more objective and more accepting than younger people.

The other study found that people in their 60s felt more empathy than people in their 20s and 40s when shown distressing images in films.

The researchers concluded that the extensive life experience of people of retirement age was a major source of social capital, often untapped, that could offer enormous benefits as we come to terms with our ageing population. 

The young can learn a lot from their elders.

Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 9 January 2011.

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