A friend recently sent me a link to a story about ‘mental age.”
Apparently, there’s a lot of research and hoohah about chronological or body age vs. mental age – just googling ‘mental age” brings up more than 2 trillion results.
Which Mental Age?
There’s two kinds, of course. One is the age/facility of our mental capabilities – that’s the kind defined by Wikipedia: “how a specific individual, at a specific age, performs intellectually, compared to average intellectual performance for that individual’s actual chronological age.”
The other kind is more subtle – it’s the age we define ourselves in our heads. For instance, I’m almost 68, but for some reason I”m forever 35 in my head. I love the music from then (I listened to “Higher Love” just yesterday!), some of my best memories are from around then, I looked really awesome then (I still have some of the clothes I wore).
It’s how I interact with people, how I dress, and how I carry myself in the world.
In other words, it’s how I age with attitude!
But how old, really?
Researchers are seriously looking at mental vs. actual age. There’s actually an online test, developed in Japan, to find out what the ‘experts” judge to be the habits and thought patterns of people at various ages.
Seems I wasn’t far off the mark – according to them, I’m 31!
How about you? How old do you feel inside and why? If you took the test, how old did it say you were mentally? Let us know in the comments!
Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send Open Thread suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.