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Why Do Old People Get Conservative? A Self-Esteem Boost

The conventional wisdom is that old people get conservative. Here's another clue why: It might soothe existential anxiety.


Miller McCune reports on new research that provides one fascinating reason people may get more conservative as they age: It makes them feel better about themselves.

The researchers found growing older was associated with lower levels of self-esteem among those on the liberal side of the scale. But conservatives were spared that decline, leading them to conclude that “conservatism buffers the negative effect of age on self-esteem.”

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A recent piece from in Miller-McCune makes a case that a public school can do more than just educate its students: It also provides a possible venue, via school playgrounds and basketball courts, for nearby residents to stay active.

Now, we all know that not all public schools come with attached playgrounds, tracks, and basketball courts, swimming pools, etc.; but many do. I remember playing football and basketball at the elementary school near where I lived long after I was a student there. But, it never occurred to me until reading this piece that using the school's facilities wasn't encouraged—and it's possible that my friends and I may have been trespassing.

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