Laura Carstensen

Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy, Professor of Psychology, Director, Stanford Center on Longevity

Laura L. Carstensen, PhD, Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University, where she is also the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, which explores innovative ways to solve the problems of people over 50 while improving the well-being of people of all ages. She is best known in academia for socioemotional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation, and with her students and colleagues, has published more than 150 articles on life-span development. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging for more than 20 years and she is currently supported by a MERIT Award. In 2011, she authored A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity. She is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society and currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Aging to NIA. She has won numerous awards, including the Kleemeier Award and Distinguished Mentorship Award from the Gerontological Society of America, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. She received a BS from the University of Rochester and PhD in clinical psychology from West Virginia University.

Contact Info:

Assistant:  Rebecca Broome

Phone: (650) 736-8643

Dept. of Psychology
Jordan Hall, Building 420 (Rm 167)
Stanford, California 94305-2130


The Upside of Aging
Paul H. Irving
Chapter 1: Our Aging Population – It May Just Save Us All

A Long Bright Future
Laura L. Carstensen

The Influence of a Sense of Time on Human Development
Laura L. Carstensen, Science (2006)

Growing Old or Living Long: Take Your Pick
Laura L. Carstensen, published in “Issues in Science and Technology”, NAS Winter(2006)

Aging and the Intersection of Cognition, Motivation, and Emotion
Laura L. Carstensen, Joseph A. Mikels, Mara Mather
Handbook on the Psychology of Aging, Academic press (2006)