Eccentrics Become More Eccentric With Age
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ECCENTRICS DO BECOME MORE ECCENTRIC WITH AGE
Friday, June 28, 2002
Mental health researchers have concluded eccentric behaviour increases with
But they say flamboyant behaviour decreases.
The study at Imperial College in London looked at around 200 people over a
The experts believe eccentric behaviour becomes more exaggerated because
ageing nerves are less able to adapt to social norms.
They aren't sure why other types of behaviour become less pronounced with
The increase in eccentric behaviour was matched by those in anxious and
Peter Tyrer, a professor of public mental health at Imperial College, said:
"The tendency to be a little odd or eccentric can often be kept under
control in younger people, as they modify their behaviour to social norms.
"But as people get older there is evidence of reduced plasticity of the
nervous system, which makes them less adaptable and increases expression of
their odd personality traits."
He also told New Scientist: "Whilst flamboyant, antisocial behaviour often
decreases with age, people often become more suspicious in character. And
it's worrying that a lot of world leaders are old men who are less adaptable
and prone to conspiracy theories. Stalin was completely paranoid by the
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