Why Older People Are More Apt to Forgive

Mental Health News Organization – People become happier as they get older, according to recent research. Happiness significantly rises for the over 50-crowd, and while physical health may decrease as people get older, mental well-being increases, something researchers attribute to the lowered personal and professional expectations older people place on themselves.

Something else that comes with old age: an increased capacity to forgive others. It’s easier for older adults to forgive than it is for younger adults.

A recent study set out to examine the reason behind this positive relationship between age and forgiveness. Researchers hypothesized that the two personality traits of agreeableness and neuroticism (the degree of negativity in a person’s response to life situations) explain age differences in tendencies to forgive.

The study looked at individuals who ranged in age from 19-84 years and found that older adults showed higher levels of agreeableness and lower levels of neuroticism than younger adults. How does this relate to forgiveness? More agreeable people are more forgiving than less agreeable ones, and more neurotic individuals are less forgiving than less neurotic ones. Consequently, older people are more apt to forgive. Read the full story.

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