Georgia Aspinall | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Is This Why You\\\'ve Stopped Having Spontaneous Nights Out?

The Scientific Reason Why We Get Less Spontaneous Past The Age Of 25

The Debrief: Scientists have proven that if you're getting old and boring, you're not the only one.

‘You have all your life to be “too old” for things’. That’s the advice I gave my 27-year-old sister last night when she had her weekly breakdown about going to a club on a Friday night when everyone else she knows seems to be settling down. It’s a ridiculous notion, but there is a definite pressure that once you’re in your late twenties you shouldn’t be seen doing things younger people do. Essentially, you HAVE to become boring whether you like it or not. And now, science has started to catch on.

In a study published by PLOS Computational Biology, researchers found that the ability to make random choices peaks at 25 and then declines. Is this why you get to your mid-twenties and suddenly realise none of your friends can manage even a quick drink without two weeks planning in advance? 

In controlling for characteristics like gender, language and education, the study found that age is the only factor that impacts your ability to behave randomly. Testing more that 3,400 people aged 4 to 91, each participant performed a series of online tasks to understand their randomness. The results also show that if your 25, you could not just outsmart a ten-year old, but also a computer. Nicolas Guavrit, one of the researches said:

'25 is, on average, the golden age when humans best outsmart computers'

So basically, your 25-year-old sibling is both more fun, and smarter than you… great. The study isn’t just to make any age other than 25 feel shit, researchers are using the same approach to understand potential links between random behaviour and neurodegenerative diseases. Hopefully there will be no link, and then we won’t have another reason to grow up and stop those spontaneous nights out. 

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