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Poll finds those aged 40 to 60 are more ‘glass half-full’ than younger people

It’s the age when we are supposed to turn into grumpy old men and women.

But the middle-aged may actually be the most optimistic of any age group.

Those aged 40 to 60 are more ‘glass half-full’ than the young, a study found.

Researchers who analysed surveys from the US and Netherlands, involving more than 30,000 people, found mid-lifers were more likely to agree with statements such as ‘I expect more good things to happen’.

Experts believe older people, who value balance and contentment in their lives, tend to focus more on happier things.

The early years of marriage may help with positive feelings about the future.

This is except for Germans, who filled out a similar poll showing the middle-aged were not the most positive group.

Professor William Chopik, co-author of the study from Michigan State University, said: ‘Part of the reason may be that as people mature they become more competent at what they do, and success comes a little easier for them as they master various parts of their lives, so they start to become more optimistic as they reach middle age. 

‘Also, middle-aged people may start to focus less on “getting ahead in life”… and instead attend to things which make them happy.’

But in America and the Netherlands, optimism started to decline beyond 60. Professor Chopik told the Journal of Research in Personality this is ‘because it is tied to health and the general outlook people have about getting older.’

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