Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 776–780 | Cite as

People over forty feel 20% younger than their age: Subjective age across the lifespan

  • David C. RubinEmail author
  • Dorthe Berntsen
Brief Reports


Subjective age—the age people think of themselves as being—is measured in a representative Danish sample of 1,470 adults between 20 and 97 years of age through personal, in-home interviews. On the average, adults younger than 25 have older subjective ages, and those older than 25 have younger subjective ages, favoring a lifespan-developmental view over an age-denial view of subjective age. When the discrepancy between subjective and chronological age is calculated as a proportion of chronological age, no increase is seen after age 40; older respondents feel 20% younger than their actual age. Demographic variables (gender, income, and education) account for very little variance in subjective age.


Autobiographical Memory Proportional Discrepancy Social Economic Status Life Script Omnibus Survey 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychological and Brain SciencesDuke UniversityDurham
  2. 2.University of AarhusAarhusDenmark

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