Research has shown that older adults dis­play more pos­i­tive emo­tions and are quicker to reg­u­late out of neg­a­tive emo­tional states than their younger peers.

Given the declines in cog­ni­tive func­tioning and phys­ical health that tend to come with age, we might expect that age would be asso­ci­ated with worse moods, not better ones.

So what explains older adults’ pos­i­tive mood regulation?

Researcher Derek Isaa­cowitz of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity explores pos­i­tive looking as one pos­sible expla­na­tion: older adults may be better at reg­u­lating emo­tion because they tend to direct their eyes away from neg­a­tive mate­rial or toward pos­i­tive material.

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