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Psychon Bull Rev. 2006 Oct;13(5):776-80.

People over forty feel 20% younger than their age: subjective age across the lifespan.

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Psychological and Brain Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0086, USA.


Subjective age--the age people think of themselves asbeing--is measured in a representative Danish sample of 1,470 adults between 20 and 97 years of age through personal, in-home interviews. On the average, adults younger than 25 have older subjective ages, and those older than 25 have younger subjective ages, favoring a lifespan-developmental view over an age-denial view of subjective age. When the discrepancy between subjective and chronological age is calculated as a proportion of chronological age, no increase is seen after age 40; older respondents feel 20% younger than their actual age. Demographic variables (gender, income, and education) account for very little variance in subjective age.

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