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Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the stupid-kids dept.
A study by Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick and co-author Matthias Hastall suggests that your grandma's self-esteem gets a boost when she hears about the stupid things young people do. "Living in a youth centered culture, they may appreciate a boost in self-esteem. That's why they prefer the negative stories about younger people, who are seen as having a higher status in our society," said Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick. From the article: "All the adults in the study were shown what they were led to believe was a test version of a new online news magazine. They were also given a limited time to look over either a negative and positive version of 10 pre-selected articles. Each story was also paired with a photograph depicting someone of either the younger or the older age group. The researchers found that older people were more likely to choose to read negative articles about those younger than themselves. They also tended to show less interest in articles about older people, whether negative or positive."
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Old People Enjoy Reading Negative Stories About Young

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  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:54PM (#33438472)
    Each story was paired with a picture. All they've proven is that old men like looking at pictures of hot young girls!
  • by NEDHead (1651195) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:57PM (#33438510)
    I would suggest that many 'old' people don't think of themselves as old. Thus they tend to see younger people as their near peers, and older folk as, well, old folk. So when we see our 'near peers' do something that we are too wise to do, we judge them as less than ourselves (and have a satisfying ego moment). And when we see 'old folk', we just seem to have less in common with them.
  • by Shoe Puppet (1557239) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:09PM (#33438692)

    Most of which were by people who directly knew him (i.e. Plato) as opposed to someone who lived in 1953.

  • Control Group? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KnownIssues (1612961) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:12PM (#33438738)

    How does this compare with young people's enjoyment of negative vs. positive storeis about old people? Because unless such a study shows that young people enjoy reading positive stories about older people more than negative stories, I don't see that this study has shown anything surprising or interesting. In fact, I don't see how this wouldn't boil down to "People in Group A enjoy reading negative stories about opposite Group B". I bet Democratics enjoy reading negative stories about Republics, Atheists about Christians, Children about Parents, Men about Women, Gamers about Non-Gamers, Nerds about Non-Nerds, Straights about Gays, I could go on.

  • by avandesande (143899) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:47PM (#33439214) Journal

    Many people believe there are multi-generational economic/social trends- I think there is more to it than carmudgeony old people.

  • Re:hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:19PM (#33439650)

    Baby boomers were living on welfare on communes in the 60's and 70's doing drugs and having lots of sex.

    Now that the boomers are grown up, they cut off all the benefits that their parents gave them.

    The hippies who didn't turn hard-nosed dropped out and never got back up mostly. We call them "bums" and "homeless" today.

    The 20's and 30's somethings would probably have more fun if not for lack of welfare and STD's.

    Plus, I think people who were hippies expected less out of the world. And they were turned off by even the modest expectations of their parents. Today's 20's and 30's want to be exec VP, drive a $40k new car, and have a 3200sq foot micro mansion.

  • Re:hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) < minus math_god> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:41PM (#33440964) Journal

    I don't know whether I should be jealous of old folks. They grew up with decent incomes, this "job security" thing I've read about, the financial ability for the average Joe to buy their very own standalone house and affordable new car that didn't suck ass, politicians that actually did the things you elected them to do, having a BSc was like having a PhD and having a PhD was like being God, and if you had unprotected sex you didn't have to worry about a slow death or horrific chronic illness.

    On the other hand, no Internet and sucky electronics :-\

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"