X-Message-Number: 30640
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Pro- and Anti-Longevity Attitudes
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2008 15:40:06 +0100

This is a summary of the Kogan et al. longevity studies.

Extending the Human Life Span: Assessing Pro- and Anti-Longevity  

"The major aim of this research was the construction and application  
of a questionnaire whose items incorporate the themes represented in  
the bioethical debates.  The following seven content categories served  
as guidelines for the derivation of questionnaires items.
1.      Life extension as prolonging disease, disability, and other  
2.      Life extension as improving quality and satisfaction with life.
3.      The impact of life extension on intergenerational relationships.
4.      The utility or disutility of supporting pro-longevity research.
5.      The disruption vs. enhancement of life goals.
6.      Effects of life extension on work, retirement, and the economy.
7.      Acceptance vs. rejection of deprivation in the pursuit of life  
extension. "

The Life Extension Questionnaire (LEQ) was used in two studies and an  
additional set of questions was added to the second survey in order to  
assess Subjective Well-Being/Age. Some of this is quoted from the  
draft: Kogan, Tucker, & Porter. (in revision). Extending the Human  
Life Span: Assessing Pro- and Anti-Longevity Attitudes. (Any citations/ 
quotations should be cleared with the author.)

Demographic variables correlated with overall Pro-longevity attitudes:

The age of the respondent was related to life-extension attitudes (r =. 
46, p <.001), the older respondents tilting in the pro-longevity  

Pro-longevity attitudes were strongest in the separated-divorced group  
and weakest in the single group (p<.05).

Factors derived from the LEQ:

I. Personal Emotional Rejection (PER)   reflects a harsh rejection of  
life extension with endorsement of items focused on pointlessness and  
waste, and contrary-to-nature aspects of extending life span.  Other  
items reflect the personal cost of life extension (e.g., delaying  
commitments or prolonging goals, inducing  boredom).

II. Utopian Vision (UV)   points to the many advantages of life  
extension for older people and for society at large.

III. Social Economic Burden (SEB)   highlights the economic burdens on  
the individual and the health-care system flowing from life extension.  
The highest loading items stress preference for health over longer  
life and a fear of financial dependency for the individual, and  
exhaustion of resources for the society.

Age was significant for each of the factors.  For Factor I (PER), r =  
-.49, p < .001; for Factor II (UV), r = .33, p < .001; for Factor III  
(SEB), r = -.23, p < .001. The older the adult, the more likely is he  
or she to reject the harsh negativity toward life extension reflected  
by the items loading on factor I.  Correspondingly, chronological age  
is positively associated with endorsement of items that promise a  
Utopian future with life extension (Factor II).  Finally, the outcome  
for Factor III is somewhat counterintuitive as we observe that older  
adults are significantly more disposed to endorse anti-longevity  
items.  These items concern the added costs of health-care and social  
welfare and hence raise the possibility of exhaustion of financial  

Education: Two of the three factor are modestly but significantly  
related to education level.  The Utopian Vision factor is inversely  
related to education (r =-.19, p <.02).  The more highly educated  
apparently tend to not find the Utopian Vision entirely convincing.   
The Social Economic Burden factor also bears a negative relationship  
with education (r =-.22, p <.01).  This suggests that the more highly  
educated are not convinced that additional years of life will impose  
an undue burden on the social-welfare and health-care systems.

Study 2 (Retired adults):

Males were somewhat more likely than females to endorse pro-longevity  
items (r = .22, p < .05) and reject anti-longevity items (r = - .17, p  
< .10).

General factor:
1. How would you describe your health?
2. How do you feel about your life as a whole?
3.  Regarding your future which one of the following statements do you  
think best applies to you?
4.  Comparing yourself to most people of your chronological age, do  
you feel?

Sub-factors derived from the above:
A. Subjective Well-Being (SWB)
B. Subjective Age (SA)

Participants who endorse more prolongevity items on the LEQ tend to be  
more satisfied with life and more optimistic, and perceive themselves  
as younger than their age peers, and as having more years left in  
their lifetime. In respect to the LEQ factors, higher scorers on  
Utopian Vision tend to have a lower Subjective Age score (i.e.,  
younger than age peers and more years left to live).

The correlation between the overall mean prolongevity score and the  
general factor achieved significance at the .001 level (r = .32).  The  
general factor also correlated significantly with the Utopian Vision  
factor (r =.20, p <.05, 2- tailed).

Of the positive survey items, these were the most stable across the  

Longevity improving life   more time for goals
Extending life giving respect to old age
Longevity research as duty to future generations
Long Term Relationship (LTR) quality will increase with longevity
Society will benefit from greater wisdom
Increase budget for this research

Other positive items from the LEQ:

Favor longevity research even if product unaffordable
Extend life to have more leisure time
Estimate satisfaction greater at age 110 than 75
Families benefit from cross-generation interaction


David Stodolsky    Skype: davidstodolsky

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=30640