Saturday, January 01, 2011

Notes from an interesting article on Emotional Intelligence and folks over 60 years of age. See the full article HERE.

Emotional Intelligence Peaks as We Enter our 60s Research Suggests is the name of the article.

Older people have a hard time keeping a lid on their feelings, especially when viewing heartbreaking or disgusting scenes in movies and reality shows, psychologists have found. But they're better than their younger counterparts at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate, according to research from the University of California, Berkeley.

Thus begins the article.


-- research was by UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson

-- changes as we age can give older people an advantage in the workplace and in personal relationships.

"Increasingly, it appears that the meaning of late life centers on social relationships and caring for and being cared for by others," Levenson said. "Evolution seems to have tuned our nervous systems in ways that are optimal for these kinds of interpersonal and compassionate activities as we age."

-- older people are better at reinterpreting negative scenes in positive ways using positive reappraisal, a coping mechanism that draws heavily on life experience and lessons learned.

-- younger participants were better at using "detached appraisal" to tune out and divert attention away from unplesant scenes

-- this approach draws heavily on the prefrontal brain's "executive function," a mechanism responsible for memory, planning and impulse control and that diminishes as we age

You can see this is a fascinating article. Check it out.

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