Personality can affect longevity — those with the most optimism and cheerfulness die younger than their less positive counterparts, U.S. researchers found.
Study leader Howard S. Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside; Leslie R. Martin, a psychology professor at La Sierra University in Riverside; and staff researchers — over a 20-year period — tanalyzed data from a study of 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when the study began in 1921.
“Longevity Project participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking,” Martin said in a statement. “It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest.”
Part of the explanation lies in studying the health behaviors of the study subject — the cheerful, happy-go-lucky kids tended to take more risks with their health across the years, Friedman explained.
More on UPI