Age differences in emotional responses to monetary losses and gains

  • W. Bruine de Bruin W. Bruine de Bruin
  • J. Strough J. Strough
  • M. van Putten M. van Putten
  • R. van Emden R. van Emden

People of all ages face events that threaten their well-being, but theories of aging posit that older adults will cope better. In a gamble with randomly assigned losses (vs. gains), older adults reported relatively less negative and more positive emotions than younger adults, especially after losses (vs. gains). Avoiding preoccupation with negative thoughts was more likely among older (vs. younger) adults, and was related to less negative emotions after losses (vs. gains). A focus on limited time was associated with more positive emotions across all participants. Our findings may inform interventions that aim to promote emotional well-being across all ages.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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