Speaker: Derek M. Isaacowitz, Ph.d, Professor of Psychology, N

Time: 10:00 - 11:30, Nov 6.

Venue: Room 1113, Wang Kezhen Building

Abstract: Conceptual models of emotion and aging have hypothesized that older adults may more successfully utilize emotion regulation strategies to optimize their positive affect. Previous studies have generally been designed to maximize the chances of observing age-related differences and/or improvements in emotion regulation. I will present some recent studies that have attempted to use comprehensive methods to describe the behavior of younger, middle-aged and older adults in a range of emotion regulation contexts. We then used Bayesian approaches to determine whether evidence favored the alternate hypothesis of age differences or the null hypothesis of no age differences. While evidence supported age differences on some tasks, for many others the evidence supported no age differences. These findings are considered from the perspective of how researchers can construct conceptual models of emotional aging that take seriously the possibility that some (or many) of the relevant processes do not vary substantially by age.

Bio: Derek M. Isaacowitz is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Lifespan Emotional Development Lab at Northeastern University. He was an undergraduate student at Stanford University, and received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. His research on emotion regulation and social perception in the context of adult development and aging is funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and Velux Stiftung. This research has appeared in journals such as Psychological Science, Social and Psychological and Personality Science, Emotion, and Psychology and Aging. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and chair of the Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes study section at NIH. He has been the recipient of the Springer Early Career Achievement Award from Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association, the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology, for Outstanding Early Career Contributions, from the Gerontological Society of America, as well as teaching and mentoring awards.

Host: Xin Zhang