Hope I die before I get old: Mispredicting happiness across the adult lifespan

Published

Journal Article

The tendency to overestimate the influence of circumstances on well-being has been demonstrated for a range of life events, but the perceived impact of aging on well-being has been largely overlooked. People seem to dread growing old, despite evidence that well-being improves with age. We compared the self-reported happiness of younger adults (mean age = 31) and older adults (mean age = 68) with their estimates of happiness at different ages. Self-reports confirmed increasing happiness with age, yet both younger and older participants believed that happiness declines. Both groups estimated declining happiness for the average person, but only older adults estimated this decline for themselves. © Springer 2006.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lacey, HP; Smith, DM; Ubel, PA

Published Date

  • June 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 167 - 182

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1389-4978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10902-005-2748-7

Citation Source

  • Scopus