With possibilities of living longer and been healthier keep expanding researchers invest most of their time trying to understand the drivers behind these patterns. A single unique formula for health and long life does not exist, of course, as there is an apparent correlation between a number of factors such as genetics, environment, lifestyle and others. The behavioral component should not be excluded from this list though as lifespan improvements will definitely depend on individual behaviors, ranging from simple diet changes to adaptation to the various technological innovations.
I recently attended the Health and Care conference where Tim Herford, a world known behavioral economist and senior FT columnist, gave a very interesting and engaging speech. The main topic of his talk was adaptation in healthcare and in life. Part of his speech was devoted on the way in which group pressure can destroy individual opinion. One of the key points he was referred to was the power of conformity, in other words the ability to match attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to group norms. People are often reluctant to "be different", they are hesitating to suggest a way to something "new".
The attached video illustrates the conformity concept in a funny but interesting way. This is based on the "Elevator Experiment" conducted in 1962 by social psychology pioneer Solomon Asch and the Candid Camera team!
Thinking about the power of conformity how can this influence the openness of people to the various medical innovations? Can this have a positive impact as, for example, adaptation to specific healthy behaviors is accelerated due to mass acceptance? Or is it more likely to have a negative effect due to the loss of individual "identity"?
Category: Funding longer lives