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Laura L. Carstensen, MA, PhD   Download vCard
Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, Professor of Psychology, and Stanford Health Policy Associate

Department of Psychology
Stanford University
Building 420, Room 167
Stanford, CA 94305-2130
(650) 723-3102 (voice)
(650) 725-5699 (fax)

Laura L. Carstensen, Ph.D., is a member of the Psychology Department at Stanford University, where she is also Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy. For more than twenty years her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, and in 2005 she was honored with a MERIT award. Carstensen is best known for socioemotional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation. With her students and colleagues, she has published well over 100 articles on life-span development. Her most current empirical research focuses on ways in which motivational changes influence cognitive processing.

Dr. Carstensen is a fellow in a number of professional organizations including the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America. She serves on the Board of Science Advisors to the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany and has chaired two studies for the National Academy of Sciences, resulting in The Aging Mind and When I’m 64. She is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society.

The recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, she has been selected as a Guggenheim Fellow, received the Richard Kalish Award for Innovative Research and the Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America, as well as Stanford University's Deans Award for Distinguished Teaching. Professor Carstensen received her B.S. from the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University.

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Retirement in an Era of Long Life
Laura L. Carstensen: "It seems that national discussions about retirement quickly turn to the long-term viability of Social Security. The problem with retiring in the early 60s isn't just a problem for Social Security. It's much bigger. We are squandering the opportunity to redesign life."
February 6, 2012 in

Five Questions With Laura Carstensen
The founding director of the Research Center on the Prevention of Financial Fraud talks about the nature of scams and what advisors can do to protect their clients.
December 1, 2011 in On Wall Street

Living Longer and Better
[Audio] We'll spend this hour with Dr. Laura L. Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and author of "A Long Bright Future: An Action Plan for a Lifetime of Happiness, Health, and Financial Security" (Broadway, 2009).
October 11, 2011 in KERA

Increased Happiness Begins at Middle-Age
Older people also know they are closer to death and they grow better at living in the present, argues Laura Carstensen, professor of psychology at Stanford University. They come to focus on things that matter now like feelings and less on long-term ...
April 1, 2011 in Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog)

The road to longevity
That mixed bag was the impetus in establishing the Stanford Center on Longevity, a research facility affiliated with Stanford University that studies the nature of the entire human life span, seeking ways to use science and technology to solve the ...
March 2, 2011 in Los Altos Town Crier

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