October 15, 2019 —As you age, does it seem to you that you tend to have more positive memories of the past than negative recollections? Psychologists now know that, compared to younger adults, older adults tend to recall fewer pessimistic images than upbeat ones. The older people are, the more they display a memory bias that favors the recall of optimistic images. Based on the results of the study, researchers believe that with age, people place increasingly more value on emotionally meaningful goals and, thus, invest more cognitive and behavioral resources in obtaining them. To put it another way, it is often said that it does not pay to dwell on the negative, because doing so can corrupt your attitude and ability to get through life. In fact, psychologists encourage the recall of happy memories as a way to forge a healthier mental landscape.
Adopting a positive attitude can go a long way toward overcoming obstacles for individuals of any age. At Barclay Friends, we work to transform our culture’s view of aging, of older persons, and of the potential for fulfillment and continuing contribution during the later stages of life.
With Faith Woodward, Director of Admissions and Marketing