A Project of the University of Pennsylvania and the John Templeton Foundation

When time is running out: Changes in positive future perception and their relationships to changes in well-being in old age.

Published: June, 2011

Investigator(s): Other Investigator(s)

Researcher(s): Kotter-Gruhn, D. & Smith, J.


How optimistically individuals view their future and what they expect from it has often been studied in younger adults. Less attention has been paid to future perceptions in older adults whose future is temporally limited. Using longitudinal data from the Berlin Aging Study, the authors examined whether future orientation and optimism change in older adults (70–104 years) and whether changes in future perception precede changes in well-being. With advancing age participants reported fewer future plans and less optimism. Those changes were related to changes in well-being with partial support for a lead-lag relationship.

JTF grant funded: No