Research has shown that older adults display more positive emotions and are quicker to regulate out of negative emotional states than their younger peers.

Given the declines in cognitive functioning and physical health that tend to come with age, we might expect that age would be associated with worse moods, not better ones.

So what explains older adults’ positive mood regulation?

Researcher Derek Isaacowitz of Northeastern University explores positive looking as one possible explanation: older adults may be better at regulating emotion because they tend to direct their eyes away from negative material or toward positive material.