Life expectancy influences major decisions

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 13:12

Toronto: The belief in how long you will live may subconsciously influence major decisions such as marriage, divorce, abortion, having a child or attending university.

"Life expectancy might be driving all of these major decisions," says study author Daniel Krupp, post doctoral fellow in the Queen`s University math department who has a background in psychology and biology.

The longer someone expects to live, the more time they will invest in education. If life expectancy is short, someone may decide to get married and have children sooner, or stick with the partner they are currently with rather than seek a divorce, the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour reports.

It is impossible to know how long someone is going to live, but there are many life expectancy cues not consciously processed, affecting how many more years people expect to live, according to a Queen`s statement.

A branch of evolutionary theory known as life history theory predicts life expectancy to influence major life decisions in humans, as it does in the lives of other animals. Krupp`s findings, based on population data from Statistics Canada, help to confirm this.


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First Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 13:12

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