“Digital Transformation Search – Well-being and Health across the Lifespan”
Hosted by the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
Abstract: Optimizing well-being is an important goal for many people. This pursuit of greater well-being suggests a lay intuition that well-being is changeable. My research programmatically examines this intuition by investigating shorter-term daily fluctuations and longer-term developmental trajectories of well-being. I apply findings from this research to examine links between well-being and health outcomes in older adulthood, such as chronic conditions, mortality, and dementia risk. In doing so, my research challenges common assumptions about well-being and how it affects health. For example, it is often assumed that life satisfaction only changes over the long-term, and is relatively stable from one moment to the next. My work, however, indicates that some people’s life satisfaction varies dramatically with transient emotional ups and downs. I developed a novel theoretical framework to explain the nature of these fluctuations and what they mean for health. Another common assumption is that well-being improves with age. My research suggests that this is true for some types of well-being (e.g., subjective well-being or “feeling good”), but other aspects of well-being (e.g., sense of purpose) decline during midlife and older adulthood. Yet change in both types of well-being predicts important health outcomes, such as chronic conditions and mortality. In this talk, I will share these and other insights from my research into how well-being functions and how it influences healthy aging and age-related diseases. I will also discuss how I use coordinated data analysis to test whether these findings generalize across diverse groups of adults, and how this method can be leveraged to promote replicable and generalizable lifespan research.
Full schedule, Psychological & Brain Sciences events
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