Chapter 12 sought to determine which elements of social ties played a significant role in longevity. The authors discovered that those who had a larger social network lived longer and that the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. This isn’t surprising because people who go out of their way to help others are generally conscientious people, and as we have learned, conscientiousness plays a huge role in longevity. One fact that did surprise me was that having a pet does not contribute to longevity. Owning a pet does not help you live longer because one cannot have human social interaction with a pet, but I feel as though pet owners must be conscientious. Can getting a pet help someone become conscientious?
Chapter 13 discussed the role of masculinity and femininity in longevity. The results were not surprising to me. Masculine men and women lived shorter lives because masculine behaviors can be somewhat dangerous. Additionally, masculine individuals tend to be more closed off and have less deep social connections. On the other hand, feminine men and women live longer lives because they have safer behaviors and because they are able to maintain stronger relationships. I am wondering which factor matters most to longevity. Is it conscientiousness, having a successful career, social ties, or femininity? I would predict that conscientiousness is the most important because it relates to all of the other factors. Those who are conscientious are driven so they are more likely to have a successful career. They are less likely to make dangerous decisions and they care more about life in general so I feel like they would make a bigger effort to be social and help others.