Grumpy Old Men?

New research indicates that older people are “more likely to choose to read negative articles about those younger than themselves. They also tended to show less interest in articles about older people, whether negative or positive.” The researchers think older people may get a self-esteem boost from the negative coverage. “Living in a youth centered culture, they may appreciate a boost in self-esteem,” said Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, one of the study’s authors. “That’s why they prefer the negative stories about younger people, who are seen as having a higher status in our society.” Younger people, in contrast, preferred to read positive stories about other young’uns. (HT: Marginal Revolution) [%comments]

SnotRag Dave

Not surprising... considering that, by the same measure, persons with lower household income seem to devote attention to negative stories regarding the rich and famous. Witness the popularity of tabloid 'news'papers, tabloid-style television shows, etc... the lead stories of which are flooded with the trials and tribulations of celebrities and the well-to-do.

Makes me wonder... if the opposite is true: do the rich & famous spend any significant time seeking out woeful tales of the poor and non-affluent?


Could this explain the cultural ignorance of reality, i.e.: most people think the world is getting more dangerous while crime rates are dropping; voters are worried about immigrants while immigration is dropping.

Let's face it- I'm 25 and think things are pretty good. My grandparents think America is going to hell. Because old people vote, we tend to get leaders who say things are bad.

Eric M. Jones

"Living in a youth centered culture" Oh, really?

I deny that this is true...and frankly I wonder what it means. Isn't this like people's opinions about the weather? Or is this a kind of average that got downward biassed when we started paying attention to fetuses?


Ah, typical jealousy at work.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

To The Old Generation:
Hurry up and die so we can get your jobs and move up promotions. And don't forget to leave us the real estate and luxury car in your will.

And hey, my accountant says that 2010 is a great year to die because of loopholes in the Inheritance Laws. So what are we waiting for? Call me an optimist, but I think It's Win-Win!

Signed, The Young Generation

jello pudding

cue Fox News and CBS demographics.

now excuse me as I go yell at some kids that are messin' up my lawn.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

To the Young Generation,
We fought World War II on both the Atlantic and Pacifc Fronts, defeating Hitler and Japan. And then went on the long tedious Cold War defeating the Soviets. But I know you do that every night on your XBox360 holed up in your bedroom living rent free even though you are in your 30's.

We built the Interstate Highway System, Dams and Power Plants, brought the Jet Age and put men on the Moon. And we raised the most productive and powerful economy in History. We laid the pipes for the Internet and built the foundations for modern innovation, peace and a Global Economy.

And we are asking for a comfortable retirement and leaving you the largest economy in the world, the sole Superpower and the Heir to the Great Western Empires. Do more than personal hedonism, but work for something great and permanent that you will leave to your descendents. Live sustainably, but that means also being financially independent and not reliant on a generous inheritance. Living life virtually on Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, Gaming by day and night clubbing by night. Dropping out of the economy with a hypereducation to an organic vegetable garden in the country. We need more ambition and hard work from youngsters.

We are all on this planet for a brief moment. Make your life count.

Signed, The Old Generation



So, what's new about this. The older generation has always groused about the younger folks and the younger people have complained that the old folks just don't get it.

David Chowes, New York City

The older I get (no ,67), the more I dislike the new crop of youth.

First of all, many are to be despised due to their materialsim, values, lack of interest in what I consider to be 'high culture,' little knowledge of history...

But, that is due to the collective ambiance -- i.e, society and the older generation who instilled in them little of what is important and concentrated on the superficial.

But, how I envy youth -- but, when you are part of that portion of life, you're too immature to appreciate it. (GBS)

And so it goes...


As they say, youth is wasted on all the wrong people.


Thank you, Science!


Well, character does not improve with age, in my experience. If you're an irritable 30-year-old, you'll only be worse when you're 60. But still, as a middle-aged codger, I can say for myself that I don't enjoy reading depressing stories about ANY demographic group.

ThinkAboutIt, People

Read the research, people. This was done in Germany, with a participant group that cannot be large enough or diverse enough to explicate to the universal. The real topic here should be "people will believe anything they read, if it comes from a scientist."