My friend said something about that people get older than 50 loose the ability to think creatively and formulate new ideas.

There is also a saying like “stuck in his ways” and people say the “older you get the harder it is to change”

Is this a thing? If it is there a scientific name for it?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps older people have already contemplated those creative/new ideas that younger people think is original or creative when in fact the same ideas have been contemplated time and again already. So the older person who is "stuck in his ways" already knows a good enough "way", so why bother changing. Whereas, the young whipper snapper who thinks they are so creative and full of ideas doesn't comprehend that they are 30 or 40 years behind with their wonderfully creative idea which isn't so unique or creative at all. Just a thought... $\endgroup$ – Dunk Feb 8 '18 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Dunk I like doing my own thinking again from scratch how to do things and why. I don't see the problem with it. I feel like other people who just blindly follow ways of doing things are the ones who are missing something. $\endgroup$ – Timothy Dec 15 '20 at 20:15

The question of whether it is true (or not) that

old[er] people [in general] loose the ability think creatively or formulate new ideas

would lead to a very opinion based answer and therefore it is not a fit for this site. Not everyone behaves or thinks in the same way. However, where this is true of those who are in this situation, there are several possible names for it and they tend to be cognitive biases. There is


The belief that a society or institution is tending towards decline. Particularly, it is the predisposition to view the past favourably (rosy retrospection) and future negatively.

Rosy Retrospection

The remembering of the past as having been better than it really was.

System justification

The tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged, sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest.

Status Quo Bias

An emotional bias; a preference for the current state of affairs. The current baseline (or status quo) is taken as a reference point, and any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss.

Choice-supportive bias

In a self-justifying manner retroactively ascribing one's choices to be more informed than they were when they were made.


I don't know how to explain it. I'm 33. I have aspergers. I have a tendency to sometimes do my own thinking which buries my past in the sand. I don't quite know how to explain what thinking I do. I had trouble with Linear Algebra in university because the book wasn't clear. On the other hand when I took the half courses Modern Algebra and Modern Algebra II, the book taught a completely different type of math but I understood it because the book was clear for my style of interpreting it like an original thing to teach without building on anything. Then I got a book prize for getting such high marks in math. I may now be old enough that I recently started no longer getting into a higher place than before anymore but that's fine. I guess I could keep feeling like I'm experiencing something fundamentally new and different when after a while I break a routine and do my own thinking again but I probably felt the same way before and no longer feel anymore like I felt that way also at an earlier time. It's not that I become hard wired and lost the ability to think. It's that the accumulated years of past thinking are maybe getting buried in the sand as fast as new thinking is getting done. I do however expect that in some sense I would be getting into a higher place. For example, I'm sure I will remember something about every 5 year patch of life. I suppose there could be somebody who was taught from a young age a specific way of doing things that is not universally agreed upon to be the best way that I see as disregard for themself and don't consider has to be done that way. Then they could consider me too old to learn because I don't agree that I need to do things that way. I doesn't mean I'm too old to learn. Just because I don't agree to actually do things that way because I would see it as disregard for myself and really not feel like doing it, doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to learn how they think.

I think I my have been about 30 when I had watched the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1ARFMxVYf0 many times because I liked it and then one day finally got the confusing not very direct message in that video about what they meant by "Wake up." I don't believe it myself but I got their point. Wake up meant stop being ignorant that Earth is flat and not round. See, I wasn't too old to learn. Very advance stuff I don't get and I kind of like it better that way. It doesn't mean I can think. Rather, my thinking is diverted and wandering and I feel that the ones who are more focused are the ones who are missing something. I sometimes to a bit of reconceiving of natural number addition from scratch and feel that others are missing it because they don't see it for themselves using their own thinking from scratch like a young and inexperienced child could.

In the past year, there was a girl on a driveway who looked about 6 with her mother who drew a picture. At first, I walked past then I went back and saw and noticed that it said "Thank you" and that it could mean "Thank you for looking at my picture" and told them that and the mother was kind of pleased that I saw and noticed that. I indeed was able to pick up the message in the picture that she wrote because I'm still able to do my own thinking.

I can also see and notice things that probably were completely accidental but didn't realize at the time. For example, the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUkVcd7SbTw in the introduction and the credits had a song about wishing your life would hurry by. Then there was a setting sun at the end. I thought their intent was to have me pretend I made time seem to go by faster by thinking only about a later time all the way until it comes and that the setting sun represented the time I was going to die, except that I pretend it's now instead of really focusing on that time. Then I pretend I got another shot at life completely by surprize and can make good use of it now that I learned how to run my life. I didn't really feel that way about it. I just saw and noticed that it could mean that.

I also see and notice things that are not useful at all and probably not useful at all and I believe it may have been in the past year that I noticed this thing. I noticed the many whistle sounds just before the machine when I played the level Sawmill Thrill as shown 1:58 into the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3adTY5elog. Then later one of the times I watched I think the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKkO5sqJmFU, the many rapid words baby that appear 2:28 into that video I then connected with the many whistles in the other video. Then when I watched the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt31jU-tCPE or an identical one one of which I had already watched years earlier because I remembered there was one and searched it again this time, connected the many speedometers in the train with the many whistles and the many words baby, as well as connecting it with the many small hexagons I remembered already having observed each time a hexagon crashes in level 9-6 from Super Mario 3D world when I played it as shown at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcetjtWXEzA.

At the age of 30 after I started watching season 2 of the Netflix series The Worst Witch, after a few episodes, I had the ability to play the introduction in my head at the right pitch maybe a day later before seeing the next episode and got told it again for then. Now I sometimes can play music in my head at the correct pitch from memory. I'm guessing connections for trying different things are not zero in the brain and then with enough time, some of them led to the formation of that ability. There are also other things I see and notice and I find it normal for my brain to just do it with no problem but other people probably don't want to hear about it.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.