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Do apes experience a midlife crisis ?

Posted on Thursday, 22 November, 2012 | Comment icon 12 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: CC 2.5 Kabir Bakie

 
According to new research humans aren't the only species to experience apprehensions about midlife.

While it is well known that midlife can bring about some unpleasant realizations about one's life and mortality, what isn't as well known is that this isn't something unique to humans. Apes too, it seems, also suffer from the same problem. The discovery puts to bed the idea that a midlife crisis is the result of human factors such as mortgages or marital problems.

"We hoped to understand a famous scientific puzzle: why does human happiness follow an approximate U-shape through life ", said Prof Andrew Oswald. Now the team will need to focus on why the phenomenon occurs not just in humans but in some animals as well.

"Human behaviour studies have revealed the well-established trend that our level of happiness declines after childhood until middle age, when we gradually begin to feel more content again."

  View: Full article

 Source: Telegraph


  Discuss: View comments (12)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by me-wonders on 20 November, 2012, 18:03
That is a curious finding surely demanding of more research and explanation. I would tend to go with the possibility that this has something to do with brain development and identity? There has to be a biological connection, because a primate's mid life comes much sooner than a human mid life. That means there has to be an internal clock. A human brain is not fully developed until around age 25, but even at this point there are physical changes in the brain, depending on how the brain is used, with some areas of the brain becoming strong and others atrophying if not used. Around age 30 it is s... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by me-wonders on 20 November, 2012, 18:06
In your early years you are so happy out of ignorance, then in your middle years you have figured out what is really going on, then in your later years you really don't give a crap and get on with your life. I can't figure out the like button. It turns to dislike when pressed, and I am not understanding how that can register as a positive reaction to a post? Whatever, I like what you said. You said it all very efficiently.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Insaniac on 20 November, 2012, 19:09
In your early years you are so happy out of ignorance, then in your middle years you have figured out what is really going on, then in your later years you really don't give a crap and get on with your life. Ain't that the truth. I can remember back to when I was about 10 years old, often wondering why adults were grumpy all the time. Now I understand why, 12 years later. We aren't truly free. You feel that yearning in your heart that needs to be quenched. Maybe once you're old enough, get a good job, buy a nice house and live in peace and security. But it never happens. You never see your dre... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by CHICKEN little on 22 November, 2012, 22:17
HEY GANG PLEASE DONT WORRY ABOUT OLD AGE WHY YOU SAY ? WELL IT DOSEN,T LAST LONG ..... HOWEVER ... YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE WIND DIRECTION ..BUT YOU CAN ADJUST YOUR SAILS.............THE NURSE IS COMING DOWN THE HALL ... GOTTTA GO IT,S NOT THE COUGH THAT CARRIES YOU OFF,,, IT,S THE COFFIN THEY CARRY YOU OFF IN
Comment icon #7 Posted by Still Waters on 22 November, 2012, 22:40
I can't figure out the like button. It turns to dislike when pressed, and I am not understanding how that can register as a positive reaction to a post? Whatever, I like what you said. You said it all very efficiently. After you click the like button it turns to unlike, so that if you change your mind afterwards you can undo the like you've just given. I hope that helps
Comment icon #8 Posted by pallidin on 23 November, 2012, 10:41
With apes being primates, It would not surprise me that they have an "end-of-life" syndrome. Manifested as their health goes south during and after "middle age"
Comment icon #9 Posted by Mag357 on 24 November, 2012, 6:43
What's next. Erectile Dysfunction for apes.
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin on 24 November, 2012, 7:16
What's next. Erectile Dysfunction for apes. Well, I'm sure that happens too for some of them.
Comment icon #11 Posted by lightly on 24 November, 2012, 13:55
Aw .. i hope this doesn't manifest in some driving red convertibles with girl ape passengers half their age .
Comment icon #12 Posted by Mag357 on 24 November, 2012, 19:19
Whoever comes up with articles like this has a lot of free time on their hands.


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