The Longevity Project Book Summary - The Longevity Project Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Longevity Project summary

Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin

Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study

3.9 (123 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

    The Longevity Project
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Conscientiousness is a characteristic that helps ensure a long life.

    Have you ever been teased by easygoing friends for being stubbornly organized and always playing it safe? If so, you may end up having the last laugh, because this kind of behavior is part of being conscientious, a characteristic that can lead to a long and healthy life.

    In children, one of the best indicators of longevity is conscientiousness, or carefulness. But even if it doesn’t develop until later in life, conscientious behavior can still have a positive impact.

    When Dr. Terman considered these effects, he looked at the behavioral patterns of his subjects twice: once at the beginning of the study, when they were children; the second time when they were adults, 20 years later.

    One of the subjects of the Terman Study was Patricia: She was a conscientious child and remained that way until she died in her nineties.

    Another subject was James: He wasn’t a conscientious child but as he got older his habits changed and he became more detail and goal oriented. Over the course of 20 years he had moved from the bottom 25 percent to the top 25 percent in the conscientious score, and, as a result, he lived well into old age.

    Researchers still aren’t sure why conscientious people are less likely to die from disease, but there are three possible reasons why they tend to live longer:

    First of all, by nature, conscientious people are not risk-takers and they lead healthy lives. This means they are unlikely to drink, smoke, do drugs or drive recklessly.

    The second reason has more to do with biology and the chemical composition of the brain. Research suggests that these types of people have higher levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel good and stabilize your mood, and keeps you from making dangerous and irrational decisions.

    Lastly, being conscientious can also lead to healthier personal and professional relationships. So, they’re not only happier and healthier individuals, they also attract partners, friends and jobs that help them stay that way.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Longevity Project?

    Key ideas in The Longevity Project

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Longevity Project about?

    The Longevity Project (2012) is about the impressive and revealing Terman Study, which followed a group of people for eight decades in order to find out what habits and practices helped them live long and healthy lives. These blinks explain why marriage might not be as healthy as you think, and what you can do to improve your chances of happiness and longevity.

    Best quote from The Longevity Project

    Healthy people are happy but happy people are not necessarily healthy.

    —Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin
    example alt text

    Who should read The Longevity Project?

    • People who want to live longer
    • Anyone tired of standard health advice
    • Students of medicine and psychology

    About the Author

    Howard S. Friedman, PhD, is a psychology professor at the University of California whose work in health and longevity has won him awards from the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association. His other books include Health Psychology and The Self-Healing Personality.

    Leslie R. Martin, PhD, a psychology professor at La Sierra University in California, is a recipient of the Anderson Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Distinguished Researcher Award. She specializes in finding ways to improve the physician-patient relationship and in forging psychological paths we can follow to live longer and healthier lives.

    Categories with The Longevity Project

    Books like The Longevity Project

    People ❤️ Blinkist
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    28 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial