In 10 seconds? A recent longitudinal study has found that happiness increases once we hit 50. Nevertheless, we start losing this improvement later in life, and it even reverses in our twilight years.

What is the point of studying changes in age-related happiness? Previous research has found that happiness has a U shape: it declines from adolescence to middle age and then rises. The low point at age 45-50 is similar in magnitude to the effect of becoming divorced or unemployed. Consequently, studying to what extent the U shape is a robust finding is a first step toward understanding the causes of perceptions of happiness, which might help psychologists to treat depression in their middle-aged patients. Nevertheless, the U shape relationship between age and happiness is somehow controversial.

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