Chapters 12 & 13

I thought chapter 12 was interesting how only those that have a large social network tended to live longer. I would think that people such as John, who felt socially secure and supported would live just as long as someone who had a large circle of friends. I think someone could have a large group of friends, but I think it would be more important to look at how genuine and satisfying each friendship was.

I am not surprised that the quote “the good die early, and the bad die late” was not true. I think often times you do wonder and question why good people die for unexpected reasons, but I think the quote is more helpful for coping with such a loss and does not always appear true or something that you could possibly even research because what categorizes someone as “good” is very vague and subjective.

I was not surprised with the finding that playing with pets was not associated with living a longer life, but it does make me wonder what the true benefits of having a therapy or emotional support dog are. I know that I am happier when I am with my dog. I think maybe depending on the person a pet could be beneficial, but I do believe that it will not necessarily lead to a longer life.

In chapter 13, I had a problem with what was defined as “masculine” and what was defined as feminine.” The first sentence said, “Paul was a tough, masculine guy while James was more of a family man” How does James being a family man make him any less masculine? I did not like this section of this book because I just found it to be kind of irrelevant. I think when this research was first conducted it would have been more relevant, but I do not believe it to be as important today. Gender roles are less concrete today than they used to be and risky behaviors that used to be seen more in men, such as drinking and smoking are now seen just as often with women.

I thought it was interesting that men who had lost their wives lived longer if they had neurotic personalities and were not very masculine. I think more research should be done, but I think it is an interesting finding with the Terman participants.

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3 Responses to Chapters 12 & 13

  1. Jacob Roberson says:

    I agree with you in that I (we) feel it is more important to analyze how “genuine and satisfying”your friendships and relationships are. Quality over quantity. But again, we must remember these are all correlational data. Someone’s smaller circle is not cause for his or her shorter longevity while at the same time someones larger circle is not cause for his or her greater longevity.
    As for chapter 13, I also agree with you. I hope I can be a “tough, masculine, loving, family man” when I’m older, haha. Based off the descriptions given, I definitely don’t see James as any less of a man than Paul. Your point about gender roles and the time of this study is very true and relevant. As we all agreed in lab, I’d be curious about what data might come about if a similar longevity study, or at least just some of these tests/measures were run today.

  2. Alexa Bertrand says:

    I agree with you on the topic of social support. I think that quality over quantity means more in terms of relationships and having a lesser quantity of friends shouldn’t detract from your happiness or longevity. Likewise, on the point of your dog, I am OBSESSED with my cats and definitely am happier when I am with them.

    I also agree with the point concerning masculinity and femininity. It’s unfair to associate actions with a gender rather than just the actions alone. A man can be a tough man but also emotional. It’s unfair to box people into one gender.

  3. Chloe McKinney says:

    I really enjoyed your discussion of the quote “the good die early, the bad die late.” I also understood that the quote existed to help with coping with loss rather than being an actual statistical phenomenon. I do think its interesting that quotes like this live to be so famous and normalized despite having no analyzed proof. On this, I agree with your point that these quotes serve to be even more ridiculous when we think about the fact that they are so subjective and vague that a research question could not even be accurately created to test it.

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