Public Release: 

Emotional rollercoaster? Scientists examine affect across the lifespan

Association for Psychological Science

The Association for Psychological Science is proud to present Traversing the Dimensions of Emotion Across the Lifespan: From Affective Neuroscience to Social Inquiries at their 19th annual convention in Washington, DC. This special symposium will feature panelists at the forefront of psychological research examining the complex emotions and feelings that influence our behavior.

Saturday May 26, 2007, 9:00 AM - 10:50 AM at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC.

Affect permeates every facet of the human experience, from intra- to inter-individual events; from the neural to the physiological underpinnings of regulation; from risk to resilience and health. Within the mundane and the extraordinary, affect plays a major role across the lifespan. In this symposium, researchers on the forefront of disparate fields will present a variety of perspectives on the role of affect in the lives of younger and older individuals.

Participants in the symposium include:

Lisbeth Nielsen (Chair)
National Institute on Aging

Richard E. Lucas
Michigan State University

"Can Happiness Change" Re-Evaluating the Set-Point Model of Subjective Well-Being"

Set-point models of subjective well-being suggest that people inevitably adapt even to the most extreme life events. However, recent evidence from large-scale panel studies challenges this conclusion. Although some adaptation occurs, events such as widowhood, unemployment, and the onset of a disability can be associated with lasting changes in happiness.

Karen L. Fingerman
Purdue University

"You're Not so Bad Anymore, Bernie: Negative Emotional Experiences in Relationships Across Adulthood"

Researchers employing a variety of methodologies and examining a variety of relationships find that older adults report fewer interpersonal problems than do younger adults. This talk describes a model of how individual characteristics, relationship qualities, and interpersonal processes may account for such age differences.

Heather L. Urry
Tufts University

"Brain and Body Correlates of Emotion Regulation in Older Adults"

The ability to voluntarily modify emotional responses to significant events may represent an important predictor of well-being. Interestingly, evidence suggests that brain regions implicated in emotion regulation exhibit age-related change. This talk will therefore discuss the neural and physiological processes underlying emotion regulation in older adults.

Laura D. Kubzansky
Harvard University

"Trajectories of Risk and Resilience: A Life Course Perspective on the Role of Emotion in Health"

The study of emotion and health provides insight into human health, the biology of emotion, and also critical processes of adaptation. This presentation will consider whether and how emotions influence the development of major adverse health outcomes and discuss the importance of incorporating a life-course perspective in this research.


For more information on the APS 19th Annual Convention and to browse the interactive program, please visit:

Members of the media receive a complimentary registration. To register, e-mail your contact information, including your name, name of your organization, address, phone and e-mail to

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.