Midlife crises… Real epidemic or completely fictional? No matter who you are, where you live, or what your occupation is I am sure you have heard of people that have experienced a midlife crisis. Whether you believed they existed or not, one study performed by researcher at Dartmouth College and the University of Warwick went out to determine the validity of midlife crises. After some careful research they discovered a general trend to their data, and people in fact were experiencing a psychological low on average between the ages of 30-50 (Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A.). The study was conducted online, it asked questions about the person’s overall happiness as well as life satisfaction. Their data was collected from over one million randomly sampled citizens from countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, thirty-six other European countries, and fifty-one other nations from around the world (Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A.). Along with these datasets, they received statistics from the UK Office of National Statistics and the US Centers for Disease Control. The information was then analyzed using two separate methods: a descriptive approach and a ceteris-paribus analytical approach. A descriptive approach is only taking into account well-being and age, while the ceteris-paribus approach takes into account a number of socio-economic influences that could have an effect on a person’s well-being besides age, such as a person’s health and income. It was important that the researchers include these other factors because age is not the only thing that influences a person’s well-being. Once the researchers collected their data, they noticed that the data was plotted in a U-shaped pattern which means that their data proved that there is a significant decrease in life satisfaction during the middle of a person’s lifetime. This is a pretty depressing thought… there is nothing that you can do, right? Well, there have been a few other studies that have found conflicting results, so the argument is not unanimous across the board (Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A.). There are researchers whose data did not find any significant decrease in happiness throughout a person’s lifetime. We may be in luck!
After these projects, I have gained a newfound respect for journalism. I used to always think that journalists conveniently changed stories to fit their own agenda. While I still think that is the case in some situations, I now realize how hard it is to compile information from a ten or more page academic journal into a well-rounded, five-hundred word article. Sometimes it is just impossible to try to include everything. It’s is hard to decide what is important enough to include and what is okay to be left out so the writing can be condensed. I had to make the choice to leave out a couple of details; my original article was about five-hundred words, but it focused a lot of the article on the U-shaped curve and what it is. While this was the focus in the pop culture article, it was not the main focus in the scholarly article, so I did not think it was necessary to include as much information about that subject. In the scholarly article, it went into more detail about the two different methods they used to analyze their research. I think this is important because there were a variety of factors that could have influenced their results, such as income which would had skewed their results. So in order for the audience to know that these factors were considered when writing this article, I thought more of the word count should have been devoted to explaining the two methods and why each one was beneficial.
Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald, A. J. (August 2017). “Do Humans Suffer a Psychological Low in Midlife? Two Approaches (With and Without Controls) in Seven Data Sets.” 1-24. Retrieved November 1, 2017. <file:///C:/Users/Alana/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/For%20Alana.pdf>.
Soergel, Andrew. “Study: Happiness is a U and Middle Age is Depressing.” U.S. News, 22 Aug. 2017. Accessed 10 Sept. 2017. <https://www.usnews.com/news/economy/articles/2017-08-22/study-happiness-is-a-u-and-middle-age-is-depressing>.