There is increasing evidence that the experience and regulation of emotion is well-maintained in the later years of the life span, and may even improve. In this competing renewal, we propose seven studies that will address possible reasons for, and consequences of, this apparent developmental shift. Our laboratory has amassed considerable evidence that older people process emotional information more deeply than they do non-emotional information, and we have identified a reliable pattern in which older adults attend to and better remember positive (as opposed to negative) information. We postulate that these age differences may reflect developmental changes that contribute to the effective regulation of emotion. In this continuation application, we propose several studies utilizing diverse methodologies aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the behavior we have identified in earlier grant years, and applying theoretically-derived knowledge to domains of high social significance. In three studies we will compare older and younger dysphorics, assess meditators schooled in the release of strong emotions, and examine a subsample of distinctively superior and inferior emotion regulators to obtain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of age and individual differences in effective emotion regulation. In three other studies we will test hypotheses about memory for health-related public service announcements framed in either positive or negative terms, differences in preferences for health treatments as a function time horizons, and ways in which instructions that encourage reliance on emotion may improve health care decisions. In addition to these new research directions, we request continued support for a fourth wave of data collection in a longitudinal study of emotional experience begun in 1993, so that identified age differences can be understood in the context of change over time.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
5R37AG008816-22
Application #
8316244
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Program Officer
Gerald, Melissa S
Project Start
1990-09-01
Project End
2015-08-31
Budget Start
2012-09-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
22
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$534,058
Indirect Cost
$200,272
Name
Stanford University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
009214214
City
Stanford
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94305
Rosenberger, Mary E; Buman, Matthew P; Haskell, William L et al. (2016) Twenty-four Hours of Sleep, Sedentary Behavior, and Physical Activity with Nine Wearable Devices. Med Sci Sports Exerc 48:457-65
Turan, Bulent; Sims, Tamara; Best, Sasha E et al. (2016) Older age may offset genetic influence on affect: The COMT polymorphism and affective well-being across the life span. Psychol Aging 31:287-94
Notthoff, Nanna; Carstensen, Laura L (2015) Promoting walking in older adults: Perceived neighborhood walkability influences the effectiveness of motivational messages. J Health Psychol :
Sims, Tamara; Hogan, Candice; Carstensen, Laura (2015) Selectivity as an Emotion Regulation Strategy: Lessons from Older Adults. Curr Opin Psychol 3:80-84
English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L (2015) Does positivity operate when the stakes are high? Health status and decision making among older adults. Psychol Aging 30:348-55
Notthoff, Nanna; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) Positive messaging promotes walking in older adults. Psychol Aging 29:329-41
English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) Selective Narrowing of Social Networks Across Adulthood is Associated With Improved Emotional Experience in Daily Life. Int J Behav Dev 38:195-202
Sims, Tamara L; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) The Elusiveness of a Life-span Model of Emotion Regulation. ISSBD Bull 38:30-32
English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) Will interventions targeting conscientiousness improve aging outcomes? Dev Psychol 50:1478-81
English, Tammy; Carstensen, Laura L (2014) Emotional experience in the mornings and the evenings: consideration of age differences in specific emotions by time of day. Front Psychol 5:185

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