Life expectancy may affect life decisions

April 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM   |   Comments

KINGSTON, Ontario, April 9 (UPI) -- Decisions about marriage, divorce, abortion or having a child may subconsciously influence how long people think they will live, a Canadian researcher says.

Daniel Krupp, a post-doctoral fellow in the math department of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, who has a background in psychology and biology, said the longer a person expects to live, the more time they will invest in education and attend college or even graduate school.

If life expectancy is short, someone may decide to get married and have children sooner, or stick with the partner they are currently with rather than seek a divorce, Knupp said.

"Life expectancy might be driving all of these major decisions," Krupp said in a statement. "It is impossible to know how long someone is going to live, but there are many life expectancy cues not consciously processed, affecting how many more years people expect to live. How healthy are they? Do they have a risky job? Are their grandparents still alive? Is there a history of disease in the family?"

Krupp's findings were based on population data from Statistics Canada.

The findings were published online in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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