In a study published in the journal of Experimental Psychology: General, found that with age people become emotionally stable and look at life more positively than adolescents. Perhaps this is due to the fact that adults are less inclined to perceive negative emotions.
With a digital test (on the platform TestMyBrain.org) the scientists measured the level of sensitivity to the emotions people of different age and social groups. Approximately 10,000 participants age 10-85 years, passed the test, the purpose of which was to measure how easily each person discerns the signs of the emotions of fear, anger and happiness looking at a human face. Each participant was shown images of a pair of faces and then asked to compare and contrast the levels of fear, anger and happiness on them. Control questions were built according to the type: “Which face is more evil?” New method of testing has helped to improve the accuracy results in the recognition of emotions.
One of the study’s authors Lauren Rutter commented that in early and middle adolescence dramatically increases the ability to recognize anger. The authors believe that, perhaps it is because this is the age at which often starts bullying (harassment) adolescent peers. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify the first signs of anger in order to survive in society at this stage of development.
In General, sensitivity to the emotions of anger and fear decreases with age, but the recognition of happiness remains at a constant level. These results confirmed previous studies and no data that indicate a decrease in the ability of people to recognize emotional signals. But the results that relate to happiness, brand new. “Older people tend to have more positive emotions and positive Outlook,” said L. Rutter.
Scientists plan to continue research to understand how emotion recognition changes in anxiety disorders, as well as sensitivity to anger and happiness may be associated with the weakening of mental health after injury.