Trust increases as people get older
Trust increases as people get older.Older people are not as cynical and suspicious as commonly thought as new research suggests that trust actually tends to increase as people age.
Older people are not as cynical and suspicious as commonly thought as new research suggests that trust actually tends to increase as people age. "Our new findings show that trust increases as people get older and, moreover, that people who trust more are also more likely to experience increases in happiness over time," said study co-author Claudia Haase, assistant professor of Human Development and Social Policy at the Northwestern University.
The findings were detailed in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. For the study, the researchers first 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. "This suggests that it is not simply about people being born at certain times," said study co-author Michael Poulin, associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo.
The results were not different when the researchers followed 1,230 people in the US over time as they found that these individuals became more trusting as they aged. One explanation for age-related increases in trust is that since older adults are increasingly motivated to give back to others, they believe them to be good and trustworthy, Poulin noted.
"As we age, we may be more likely to see the best in other people and forgive the little letdowns that got us so wary when we were younger," Haase added.