Laura Carstensen

Carstensen Life-Span Development Lab

Laura L. Carstensen, PhD is Professor of Psychology and founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. For more than twenty years her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging; in 2005 she was honored with a MERIT award which extends this support another decade. Carstensen is best known for socioemotional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation. With her students and colleagues, she has published more than 100 articles and chapters on life-span development. Her most current empirical research focuses on ways in which motivational changes influence cognitive processing. Carstensen is a fellow in a number of professional organizations including the American Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association. Her honors include Stanford University’s Deans Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Richard Kalish Award for Innovative Research. In 2003, she was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow and received funding for her research on “Extended life expectancy in the 21st century.” In 2006 she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America (Behavioral and Social Sciences Section). She received her B.S. from the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University. 

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