Chapter 10 came to some unexpected conclusions for me. Before reading, I would have assumed that the stress of a high end career would have posed more stress than holding a lower end job. However, the Terman participants perfectly proved the enhancement hypothesis, which says that having meaningful work that builds self-esteem makes the stress of the work worth it. I also found it interesting that the harmful, mortality increasing stress didn’t seem to come from the work at all, but from the interactions with coworkers. This is particularly interesting to me because of the way the different indicators of longevity interact with one another. In college, we are taught leadership and social skills that help deal with this sort of coworker stress and inconvenience. However, being in college at all is an indicator of higher SES, which is also an indicator of longevity.
I found the conclusions of Chapter 11 to be unconvincing. Reducing religion to a set of personality traits and a community could be applied to many different hobbies or interests. For example, one could reduce all people who play lacrosse to a set of similar traits and use the team setting as a sort of congregation. I think this use of religion compared to longevity is a stretch by the authors, and like in previous chapters, it tries too hard to be impartial and inoffensive to actually prove a point.