Thursday, June 26, 2008

Got Art?

In 2006 the General Social Survey asked respondents whether they saw themselves as having few artistic interests. The graph below presents their responses. We can see fluctuations by age. Generally, young adults often have artistic interests, and this sharply declines in what one might refer to as the early career stage (age 25-44). After this stage, the proportion saying that they don’t have artistic interests declines up until retirement. After retirement, the artistic folks seem to suddenly decrease.

This led me to wonder whether artistic people are more likely to die young. Or have there been cohort changes in artistic interests so that (for example) those born during the depression (age roughly 66-76 in 2006) were less interested in art? The fact that the proportion with artistic interests increases after age 75 makes me think this might be a cohort phenomenon.
My interpretation might also be swayed by the fact that I have artistic interests.

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