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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Why don't you want to live forever?

I am currently taking part in a very interesting project relating to the pro-aging trance. The pro-aging trance is basically people's perception that our lives will doubtlessly end as a result of aging, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. You might think, well, is there?

It's a psychological phenomenon that when someone is put in a situation where they are faced with a negative outlook e.g. "I will die, death is a certainty, what could I possibly do to change this? Nothing", they will find ways to cope with it, "I might adhere to some religion or group which promises life after death, or the persistence of "our" kind".

There are two subcategories of this: people with an external locus of control, and people with an internal locus of control. Those with an external locus of control attribute their abilities and life events to outside factors such as luck, god, karma, etc., while those with an internal locus of control attribute them to their own actions - instead of trying to find their cause, they focus on changing it.

People with an internal locus of control, therefore, would supposedly see aging as an inevitability, and when faced with the concept of defying aging, would be indifferent. Those with an external locus of control would be further split into:

1. People who acknowledge the idea as a true possibility, yet oppose it from a moral viewpoint (similar to the opposition to stem cell research e.g. lab grown beef burgers)

2. People who acknowledge the idea as a true possibility, and join in with others who are working to achieve it. Are you one of them?

The purpose of the project is to find out whether this model is correct, whether loci of control correlate with one's position on aging and rejuvenation technologies, and their subsequent likelihood to support it.