Dr. Carstensen is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University, where she is the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, which explores innovative ways to solve the problems of people over 50 and improve 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 has co-authored and published more than 125 articles on life-span development. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging for more than 20 years. In 2009, she authored A Long Bright Future: An Action Plan for a Lifetime of Happiness, Health, and Financial Security—an updated edition will be released in 2011.
Dr. Carstensen is a fellow in the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America; has chaired two studies for the National Academy of Sciences, resulting in The Aging Mind and When I’m 64; and is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society. She has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Distinguished Career Award from the Gerontological Society of America. She received her BS from the University of Rochester and PhD in clinical psychology from West Virginia University.