According to a study, the average Briton believes that youth ends at 35 and old age begins at 58. In between - all 23 years - is your middle age.
The news that 58 is "over the hill" may come as a surprise to anyone who has passed the milestone and feels they are not yet in the twilight of their lives.
They include Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the glamorous actress Jane Seymour, who are both full of energy at 59. Kathryn Bigelow, 58, has just won an Oscar for directing the action-packed movie The Hurt Locker.
The finding that we regard people in their fifties as getting doddery, despite the evidence that older people are living more active lives than ever, was revealed by academics from the University of Kent to a meeting of the Economic and Social Research Council, in London.
Professor Dominic Abrams, who studied data from 40,000 people across Europe, said: "The survey showed that age prejudice – being treated as "too young" or "too old" – is perceived to be a serious or very serious issue by 63 per cent of respondents, so it is obviously important to know what these age labels mean to people."
A survey asked: when does youth end and old age begin? For the UK, the average response was that you stop being young at 35, and start being old at 58.
But the figures also showed that opinions differed among the age groups. Younger people, those aged 15 to 24, thought youth ended at just 28 and old age began at 54.
Not surprisingly, people in their eighties were more generous. They regarded the final year of youth as 42, and the onset of old age as 67.
Professor Abrams, a psychologist, added: "This evidence shows that what counts as young and old is very largely down to the age of the beholder."
Men regarded the end of youth and start of old age to begin two years earlier than women did, according to results from the European Social Survey.
There were also large differences among European countries. Youth was perceived to end earliest among the Portuguese; they said it was at 29, while in Cyprus it was 45. The Portuguese also thought old age began at 51 – whereas Belgians believed it took at lot longer, at 64.
2010-03-18 22:13 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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