Monday, October 18, 2010

The Longevity Game

How long can you expect to live? We developed the Longevity Game to give you a peek into your future by identifying the factors that can lead to a healthier, more productive life.

At Northwestern Mutual, we know a thing or two about longevity because we’ve been tracking statistics that impact life since 1857. And that wealth of knowledge helped us shape the Longevity Game.

Through the game, we hope to give you insight into your daily lifestyle—plus tips on how you can make some positive changes.

Read more: The Longevity Game: Intro - Northwestern Mutual

This was a fun little game. According to it, in spite of smoking, I am "meant" to be 86. Whereas another friend, my same age, whom shan't be named, is only "meant" to live to be 66. And that's just from plugging in what I know of her into the game!

I found this site through a sociologist' study on death page, and it's funny what thinking about death can do to a person:

Abram Rosenblatt et al. (1989) found, for example, that when reminded of their mortality, people react more harshly toward moral transgressors and become more favorably disposed toward those who uphold their values. In one experiment, twenty-two municipal judges were given a battery of psychological tests. In the experimental group, eleven judges were told to write about their own death, including what happens physically and what emotions are evoked when thinking about it. When asked to set bond for a prostitute on the basis of a case brief, those who had thought about their death set an average bond of $455, while the average in the control group was $50. The authors concluded (Greenberg et al. 1990) that when awareness of death is increased, in-group solidarity is intensified, out-groups become more despised, and prejudice and religious extremism escalate. (
Funny. Almost exactly what happened to me upon taking this quiz. Immediately I felt horror for my friend. I felt like running to her house in the middle of the night screaming "OH MY GOD, you are going to DIE." Irrational? Extremely. But there you have it.

We'll see if it's true, if the NW Mutual people have it right. All I know is on one side of my family everybody who was not hit in the chest by a sniper's political bullet lived to be well to 100, while on the other side of my family cancer scythed most of them away well before their 60s.