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Psychol Aging. 2008 Jun;23(2):440-6. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.23.2.440.

Age-related positivity enhancement is not universal: older Chinese look away from positive stimuli.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territories, Hong Kong. hhlfung@psy.cuhk.edu.hk

Abstract

Socioemotional selectivity theory postulates that with age, people are motivated to derive emotional meaning from life, leading them to pay more attention to positive relative to negative/neutral stimuli. The authors argue that cultures that differ in what they consider to be emotionally meaningful may show this preference to different extents. Using eye-tracking techniques, the authors compared visual attention toward emotional (happy, fearful, sad, and angry) and neutral facial expressions among 46 younger and 57 older Hong Kong Chinese. In contrast to prior Western findings, older but not younger Chinese looked away from happy facial expressions, suggesting that they do not show attentional preferences toward positive stimuli.

PMID:
18573017
DOI:
10.1037/0882-7974.23.2.440
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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