Laura L. Carstensen is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University where she serves as founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her research has been supported continuously by the National Institute on Aging for more than 25 years and she is currently supported through a prestigious MERIT Award. In 2011, she authored the book, A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity. Dr. Carstensen has served on the National Advisory Council on Aging and the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society. In 2016 she was inducted into the National Academy of Medicine. She has won numerous awards, including the Kleemeier Award from the Gerontological Society of America, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Master Mentor Award from the American Psychological Association. She received a BS from the University of Rochester and PhD in clinical psychology from West Virginia University.
January 23rd, 2019 | 1 hr 52 secs
culture, emotions, incentives, laura carstensen, life expectancy, longevity, positivity effect, psychology, regret, retirement age, selective optimization with compensation, social psychology, socioemotional selectivity theory, time horizons, wisdom
Life expectancy increased more in the 20th century than in the entire prior history of humanity combined. With many more of us now getting the opportunity to live into old age, what do we have to look forward to? Do our social and emotional lives degrade in step with our physical bodies as we age, or do we in fact get much happier as we get older? How does the sense of ‘time-left’ impact our wisdom, behaviour and priorities? Laura Carstensen joins Igor and Charles to discuss individual and societal aspects of human aging. We focus on the implications and opportunities of recent extraordinary gains in life expectancy, the socio-emotional selectivity theory, the positivity effect, the thorny issue of increasing retirement age, and the surprising role of time-horizons in how we choose to spend our time. Igor alerts us to the cultural differences and the positive impact old people have on a work team’s productivity, Laura reassures us that no-one ever wants to repeat their twenties, and Charles learns of the dangers of young people trying to think like old people as a route to happiness. Welcome to Episode 12.