Washington: A new study has shed light on a bright side to getting older suggesting that getting older doesn't necessarily make people cynical and suspicious.
The study conducted at Northwestern University showed that trust tends to increase as people age, a development that can be beneficial for well-being.
Study co-author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern's School of Education and Social Policy, asserted that when they think of old age, they often think of decline and loss.
Haase said that but a growing body of research showed that some things actually get better as they age and their new findings showed that trust increased as people got older and, moreover, that people who trusted more were also more likely to experience increases in happiness over time.
In the first study, the researchers examined the association between age and trust at multiple points in history, using a sample of 197,888 individuals from 83 countries. The results suggested a positive association between age and trust, one that has existed for at least the past 30 years with little change over time.
The second study followed 1,230 people in the U.S. over time and found that these individuals became more trusting as they aged.
Study co-author Michael Poulin, associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, said that both studies found a positive association between trust and well-being that was consistent across the life span, suggesting that trust is not a liability in old age.
The study is published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.