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Study: Trust Grows With Age

EVANSTON, IL (CBS) – It seems counterintuitive, but new research claims people actually grow more trusting with age.

The studies, which were conducted by scientists at Northwestern University and the University at Buffalo, have been combined into one paper that is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

In the first study, researchers looked at the association between age and trust using a sample of nearly 200,000 individuals from more than 80 countries. In at least the past 30 years, scientists say there was a positive association between age and trust, which suggests that it doesn't matter when you're born for that association to hold water.

In the second study, researchers followed 1,230 people in the U.S. and say that those people became more trusting as they got older.

"These findings suggest that interpersonal trust may be an important resource for successful development across the life span," the scientists conclude.

"We know that older people are more likely to look at the bright side of things," co-author Claudia Haase explained. "As we age, we may be more likely to see the best in other people and forgive the little letdowns that got us so wary when we were younger."

Perhaps it's time to rethink the stereotype of the cranky old man.

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