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Science Says The Ability To Trust People Increases As We Get Older

When it comes to senior citizens, you're more likely to get an overenthusiastic kiss on the cheek than a swat with a cane. That's because old age might bring wisdom and wrinkles, but it also brings trust.

According to new research from Northwestern University and the University at Buffalo, a comfortable reliance on others grows in direct proportion to agedness.

Nearing the golden years can be frightening, but those decades can be some of the best life has to offer.

The team used data from nearly 200,000 people – aged 14 to 99 – across more than 80 countries, all of whom reported their happiness regularly during a 26-year-long period.

As time passed, they became more inclined to depend on others and, as a result, more deeply satisfied with their lives.

To further prove their conclusions, researchers then conducted a second study over four years and recorded the happiness and trust of roughly 1,200 Americans between the ages of 18 and 89.

The results echoed those of the first trial, regardless of when participants were born.

In a press release, study co-author Claudia Haase explained the theatrical image of cynical old people isn't usually true.

She said,

A growing body of research shows that some things actually get better as we age... We may be more likely to see the best in other people and forgive the little letdowns that got us so wary when we were younger.

So maybe there's a reason your grandma's been force-feeding you homemade cookies for years: She just wants to show her appreciation for you.

Citations: Are grumpy old men a MYTH? Researchers find we actually trust people more as we age (Daily Mail)