Testing the Efficacy of a Values-Based Approach to Healthcare Decision-Making in Older Adults

  • Segerstrom, Suzanne (PI)
  • Geiger, Paul (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Both researchers and laypeople have viewed aging as a progressive decline in mental and physical faculties. Research confirms that as we age, deficits in cognitive abilities (i.e. processing speed, short-term memory, cued recall) and physical health emerge. However, studies also show that older adults are able to maintain and enhance emotional functioning (Charles & Carstensen, 2003). Researchers are interested in understanding how older adults are able to maintain emotional functioning despite declines in other areas. One explanation, socioemotional selectivity theory (SST; Carstensen et al., 1999), incorporates time perception to understand emotional functioning in older adults. When people perceive time as limited, emotionally meaningful goals are prioritized in order to enhance present-moment emotional wellbeing (Mather & Knight, 2005). As a result, older adults exhibit an attentional focus on positive information, known as the positivity effect (see Reed & Carstensen, 2012, for review). Examples include actively attending to and recalling positive information over negative information (e.g. Charles, Mather, & Carstensen, 2003), which bolster present-moment emotional wellbeing (Gallo, Korthauer, McDonough, Teshale, and Johnson, 2011). As a result, older adults report greater day-to-day emotional wellbeing compared with younger individuals (Riediger et al., 2009).
Effective start/end date11/4/1511/3/16


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.