Upon gaining preliminary knowledge of it through this reading, I feel Dr. Terman’s longevity study is the Milgram Obedience Study or Zimbardo’s Prison Experiment of health psychology. What I mean is, the importance of it, the knowledge gained from it, and the subsequent studies that have emerged from the data and measures used are pertinent to the field and to the overall well-being of humans. I agree with the general theme of the introduction and the first chapter: personalities, work/careers, and our family/social lives have as great a, if not a greater, effect on health and longevity than do diet and exercise alone.
We can only develop inferences and correlations from health studies (sometimes stronger than others). This reality has a tendency to hinder people’s trust of claims of positive personality leading to longer, healthier, happier lives. What I appreciated about the intro and chapter one (and I anticipate for the rest of the book) was that the author did not discount this distrust and the correlation; instead it was highlighted so the reader is informed not to take anything as 100 percent valid and true.
I look forward to seeing the variability and similarities between individuals from like and different backgrounds and habits. Some what of a “health buff” myself, I am curious to see what patterns or categories I may fall under, and what predictions I can possibly make of my own trajectory.