Episode 12: Social and Emotional Aging (with Laura Carstensen)
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.
Special Guest: Laura Carstensen.
- Stanford Center on Longevity
- Older People are Happier - Laura Carstensen (TED Talk)
- A Long Bright Future - Laura Carstensen (Book)
- Redesigning Long Life: Uncommon Approaches for Unprecedented Challenges - Laura Carstensen (Stanford Big Data talk)
- Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and the Regulation of Emotion in the Second Half of Life - Carstensen, Fung, Charles (2003)
- Integrating cognitive and emotion paradigms to address the paradox of aging - Carstensen (2018)
- Taking time seriously. A theory of socioemotional selectivity - Carstensen, Isaacowitz, Charles (1999)
- The influence of a sense of time on human development - Carstensen (2006)
- Emotional experience improves with age: evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling - Carstensen, Turan, Scheibe, Ram, Ersner-Hershfield, Samanez-Larkin, Brooks, Nesselroade (2011)
- Psychological Perspectives on Successful Aging: The Model of Selective Optimization with Compensation - Baltes P, Baltes M (1990)
- A cultural perspective on emotional experiences across the life span - Grossmann, Karasawa, Kan, Kitayama (2014)