Intro and Ch 1

I was surprised to learn that many common health recommendations are actually ill-advised or even wrong, and that many peoples’ beliefs about health and longevity come from biased sources. People who participated in the study did not live such long lives because they ate healthy and exercised regularly. Instead, they lived long lives due to their specific personalities. I also learned that personalities can actually change slightly throughout the course of ones’ lifetime. I was under the impression that you were born with a certain personality and it remains the same as you grow older. Another thing that surprised me was that thinking happy thoughts does not reduce stress and lead to long life, and that worrying is not very bad for your health. I am not sure if I believe these statements because I feel as though thinking happy thoughts and being positive must reduce stress. One thing that I noticed was how hard working, dedicated, and diligent the researchers had to be. I think it is amazing that people can dedicate 20 years of their lives to one specific study. I am left wondering how accurate the study is. Yes, the researchers were extremely detail oriented but there are so many factors that must have impacted findings, and the authors mentioned this in the chapters.


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2 Responses to Intro and Ch 1

  1. Jacob Roberson says:

    Hey Alli,

    Yea I’d be careful in accepting all the author/researchers have to say, especially thinking about correlations versus causation. As I read on you explained your skepticism, so I’m on the same page with you there. I do not think the authors meant that diet and exercise are irrelevant to longevity. but if that is what they meant, than I strongly disagree because there is plenty of “counter” literature to show these relationships. Same goes for thinking positive thoughts. I understand worrying may not be detrimental to ones health, but I agree that positive thoughts surely can promote greater well-being than excessive worrying.
    I’m curious to learn more about the study and the points they have drawn too.

  2. Elizabeth Doll says:


    I was also surprised that the researchers claimed many of the common beliefs about how to live a long life are untrue. I think they were definitely trying to engage readers and make them curious, without giving away too much too soon. I did think it was a little off-putting how intentionally cryptic the authors were about what actually does help increase longevity. In the introduction/chapter one, they pretty much just said ‘what you think you know is probably wrong’ and left it at that. I’m interested to see what conclusions they’ve drawn throughout the rest of the book, though.

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