PSY230H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 19: Framingham Heart Study, Lewis Terman, Attachment In Adults

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Published on 24 Nov 2016
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Lecture 19: Personality and Longevity
Thursday, November 24, 2016
12:14 PM
Personality and Longevity
o Does your pers influence your life-expectancy?
Longevity and a Healthy Life Style
o How important is a healthy life-style for our longevity (i.e., how long we live?)
o 3457 Framingham Heart Study Ss who were 30-49 yrs of age in 1948
o Measures
Gender
Smoking
BMI (kg/m2)
Ex: BMI = 76 / 1.762 = 24.5
Mortality
o Results
Top BMI 18.5-24.9, middle BMI 25-29.9, bottom BMI >30
o Conclusion
Strong relation between predictor variables + mortality
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Non-smoking fem Ss w/ a healthy BMI had an 80% chance to be alive at age 80
Smoking male Ss w/ an unhealthy BMI had a 20% chance to be alive at age 80
Personality and Longevity
o Lewis Terman initiated a longitudinal study of gifted children in 1920s
o The Ss in this study called themselves the "termites"
o Howard S. Friedman published numerous articles on predictors of longevity based on this study
o The Terman Study
In 1921-22, Lewis Terman recruited over 1500 children (age 11) for a longitudinal study
(IQ>135)
Rents rated children's pers
In 1940 (age 30) self-reports of pers
In 1991, a "Termite' would have bee 80 yrs old
Leading causes of death were cardiovascular diseases + cancer
58% were actually alive, 42% had died
High conscientiousness (top 25%): 63% alive
Low conscientiousness (lowest 25%): 53% alive
10% difference from top 25% to lowest 25% of conscientiousness
Cheerfulness + mortality
Cheerfulness was assessed by rent + teacher ratings in childhood
Cheerfulness was measured w/ the items
"cheerful/optimistic"
"sense of humor"
Cheerfulness was a neg predictor of longevity
Cheerful children were going to die earlier
Sexual beh + longevity [sex and death: Freud's favorite topics/
Seldin, Friedman, Martin (2002) sexual activity as a predictor of life=span mortality
risk
Measures
Self-report of sexual beh
Indulgence in petting, kissing, + spooning in high school
Attitude towards sex at high school
Results
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o Other findings
The authors also examined other potential predictors of longevity
Longevity was not related to:
Frequency of marital intercourse
Amount of sexual pleasure
Sexual upbringing (sex education)
o Bermuda Triangle of Causality
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