We all know what age we are. We celebrate birthdays every year, we casually ask how old people are, and age even determines when we’re allowed to do things like voting or drinking. But many people aren’t aware of their mental age. Different than chronological age, mental age is how old we are emotionally and psychologically, and the two don’t have to be the same. In fact, they often aren’t. Some adults have a low mental age, with a child-like perception of the world around them and a different level of maturity. Conversely, some young people have a high mental age, indicating that they have a kind of wisdom that is beyond their years. It’s important to note that mental age is not the same as a person’s IQ but rather an expression of how they feel inside.
Because chronological age doesn’t take into account our environment, upbringing, or other things that shape us, figuring out mental age is a great way to become more self-aware (Learning Mind).
If you’d like to learn yours, grab a pen and paper, or the Notes app on your phone, so you can take this fun quiz we came up with to determine your mental age!
1. What would you do if you made a mistake?
A. Admit you made an error and try to fix it
B. Try to figure out why you made the mistake in the first place
C. Laugh at your silly mistake and ask for help so you don’t make another one
2. What would you do if a friend canceled plans on you last-minute?
A. Tell them “it happens” and find another way to spend your time
B. Feel upset about it but move on eventually
C. Try to find another day to hang out and have fun together
3. How would you act if someone was angry with you?
A. Give them space to be angry before talking to them again
B. Try to work things out right away
C. Tell them jokes until they forget their anger
4. What would you do if you won the lottery?
A. Pay off your bills and put the rest in a savings account
B. Go on a vacation and make happy new memories
C. Buy that cool thing you’ve been wanting for a while
5. What would you do if you had to choose between two equally good things?
A. Think of previous experiences to make an informed decision based on facts
B. Make a list of pros and cons and choose the option with more pros
C. Ask someone for their opinion and do what they suggest
6. How would you handle a major disagreement in the workplace?
A. Calmly discuss the disagreement and try to come up with a compromise
B. Go to a supervisor who would be able to help figure out what to do
C. Try to get the other person to see your side of things
7. What would you do if you had a big project due tomorrow?
A. Get started on it right away so you’ll be able to relax later
B. Take some time to relax but start working on it as soon as possible
C. Alternate between working on it and taking breaks
8. Which of your responsibilities would you eliminate if you could?
A. Paying bills
B. Doing laundry
C. Picking up after yourself
9. How would you act after someone complimented you?
A. Accept the compliment and give them one in return
B. Accept the compliment by thanking the person
C. Don’t accept the compliment by saying you don’t deserve it
10. What would you do if you embarrassed yourself?
A. Acknowledge the feeling but realize it doesn’t matter in the long run
B. Try to pretend like nothing happened but obsess over the feeling
C. Feel upset over it and possibly even cry
If you answered A most frequently, your mental age is between 40 and 55. Your mindset is that of a self-assured middle-aged person, and you tend to think of things through a lens of maturity. If you answered B the most, your mental age is 20 to 40 years old. You’re trying to find your way, which can be difficult, but you always find it in the end. If you answered mainly C, your mental age is between 10 and 20 years old and there’s a chance you still look at the world and think there’s so much more to learn.
Personally, my mental age is rated lower than my chronological age. I agree with my results because I’ve always felt young at heart, I still have the energy and outlook kids have, and I still perceive myself as younger than I am.
Do you feel like your mental age is aligned with your actual age?
Davies, Janey, et al. “What Is Your Mental Age and How Does It Define You?” Learning Mind, 12 Sept. 2018, https://www.learning-mind.com/mental-age/.