A study published in Psychological Science has found that people who have a cheerful outlook are less likely to experience memory decline with older age.
Analysing data from 991 middle-aged and older US adults between 1995 – 2014, participants were asked to report on a range of positive emotions experienced in the past month. In their final round of assessments, they completed tasks to test their memory.
Accounting for age, gender, education, depression, negative affect and extraversion, the researchers looked at the association between the cheerful “positive affect” and memory.
The researchers found that while memory did decline with age, “individuals with higher levels of positive affect had a less steep memory decline over the course of almost a decade,” notes leader author Emily Hittner.