Many people see ageing as a time of cognitive and physical decline. For the past three decades, most scientists and the general public have accepted this negative age–stereotype as the norm, but fortunately this view is now challenged. New findings show that well–being and a positive view of ageing are major protective factors against the effects of age on the organism. These results challenge the scientific studies that place emphasis on the negative side of ageing. This ageism view has been observed in each sphere of science, from genetics to social sciences. Perspectives from each domain are described, and new integrative views of successful ageing are summarized.