When we humans forget we are animals, we become inscrutible to ourselves. While we are unique as a species, we have much to learn from our primate cousins. A recent discovery is that, like humans, the other great apes may experience a “mid-life crisis” like we humans.
Chimpanzees and orangutans may experience a “mid-life crisis” like humans, a study suggests.
An international team of researchers assessed the well-being and happiness of the great apes.
They found well-being was high in youth, fell to a low in midlife and rose again in old age, similar to the “U-shape curve” of happiness in humans.
The study was based on observations of over 500 apes by the people that knew their behavior patterns. status and roles in their group.
The study showed that male and female humans, chimpanzees and orangutans have the same U-shaped curve despite differences in social roles, and the phenomenon is therefore not uniquely human.
Observers noted chimpanzee males compensated for the downturn by trying to mate with more females or trying to hoard more resources. The study meshes well with the data suggesting that humans have a mid-life downturn in happiness indicators regardless of education, income or marriage. but knowing such feelings are organic and not situational may be the key in not acting them out in unhealthy ways.