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It’s a universal belief that life is unfair, though there are many ways in which people manifest this belief. Some withdraw from the world, while others engage with it in an attempt to correct imbalances. Sometimes this engagement takes the form of anger.

The grumpy old man is a cliche that requires no explanation. In the Nov. 24 issue of the weekly magazine Shukan Asahi, a neurologist says the layer of the brain that moderates rational thought deteriorates as we age, and thus the filters we use to maintain decorum fail. It’s why older people get angry more easily than younger people do, especially in public and with strangers. The article submits another, less physiological factor: Once a person retires they are less beholden to behavioral restrictions dictated by social norms.

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