Laura Carstensen

About Laura Carstensen

Laura L. Carstensen, PhD, 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. For more than 20 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 for another decade.

Dr. Carstensen is best known for socioemotional selectivity theory, a lifespan theory of motivation. Her most recent empirical research focuses on ways in which motivational changes influence cognitive processing and emotional experience. Dr. 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 a Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America.

In 2003, she was selected as a Guggenheim Fellow. Currently, she is a member of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Aging Societies and the National Advisory Council on Aging. Dr. Carstensen received her BS from the University of Rochester and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from West Virginia University.