In 1938, Harvard University started an ambitious study, which followed 268 men (from student days ) over 75 years, the study is recognized as the longest of its kind in the history of direct research of human evolution. The aim of the study was to determine, as accurately as possible, what factors contribute most to a flourishing human existence, writes Feel Guide.
Combined study areas ( physiology, psychology, anthropology ) and gathered data ranging from personality type and level of intelligence to alcohol habits, family relationships or scrotum length. Last year, George Vaillant, who led the study for more than three decades, has published its findings in the book triumphs of Experience (available on Amazon) .
The study began in 1938 followed more than 200 men since reaching a student and senior and helped researchers understand and that helps adult maturity, as a man, to live happy after conventional retirement. Analyzing various aspects of men’s lives, from relationships to politics and religion and alcohol use strategies to cope with problems, the study provided interesting results :
- Our lives continue to evolve in later years, a period often prove more fulfilling than before ;
- Men who do well in old age were no , necessarily , the same success at the age of two, or vice versa ;
- I may come back after a bad childhood, but the memory of a happy childhood is a source of power and energy for life ;
- Marriages bring more satisfaction only after the age of 70 years ;
- Physical aging after the age of 80 years is determined less hereditary and lifestyle than was before the age of 50 years. The beautiful aging gracefully and vitality, we are rather due to new, if we have a healthy lifestyle than genetic inheritance;
- Alcoholism is a problem with enormous destructive power for men (however, notes the study, alcoholism was identified as the most frequent cause of divorce among study participants, all alcoholism was associated problems like depression or neurosis );
- Along with smoking, alcoholism proved to be the number one cause of death among study participants;
- In terms of income, there was no noticeable difference between how people with IQs earned over 150 people with IQs between 110-115;
- Regarding sexual lives, one of the most interesting findings of the study is that the Liberals, although the road to aging, were part of a lot more sex, even at 80 years, while conservatives usually put point of sexual life at 68 years ( ” I consulted specialists in urology about it, have no idea why that is,” wrote Vaillant ) ;
- Political ideologies have influenced life satisfaction in general, but according to the above conclusion, there is a sexual relation.
In his book, Vaillant has appointed a number of factors ( more often than others ) as defining a happy life of men, but one was highlighted in particular: it is strong correlation between afectuozitatea relationships during life and health and happiness last years of his life.
The researcher noted that 58 of the men observed that had the highest score in the ” loving relationships ” have earned more than those who had the lowest score in this chapter and have had more professional success, and therefore a high higher on life satisfaction.
Another remarkable finding of the study is great significance for the lives of men, the relationships with their mothers. It seems that they are crucial for the well being of men during their lifetime. “Men who have had warm, sweet with their mothers earned more than those with mothers care less.
Men who had cold relations with their mothers were more at risk of developing dementia in old age. Men relationships with their mothers were associated with labor efficiency in adulthood. On the other hand, a good relationship with their fathers was correlated with low anxiety, with greater leisure and a life satisfaction increased after 75 years. “
As the author himself notes the book, the most important conclusion of the study is: ” After 75 years and 20 million dollars spent on this study huge clear conclusion that emerges is one, in four words: Happiness is love . Point ” .