Loeckenhoff lab members

The Healthy Aging Laboratory is directed by Dr. Corinna E. Loeckenhoff and located in the College of Human Ecology, Department of Psychology, at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. 

We are a growing research laboratory that hosts talented individuals from around the country and the globe. What unites us is our interest in the socioemotional and cognitive factors that influence health-related behaviors and decisions across the lifespan.

Guided by the belief that the foundations for healthy aging are rooted in early life, our research examines the role of time horizons, stressful life events, and social relationships across the life span in order to gain a holistic view of everyday decision making and its implications for life-long health.

Balancing Present and Future

In many situations, people are forced to trade off between present and future outcomes. How do people of different ages balance such situations – especially when important health consequences are at stake? Our findings suggest that self-continuity, a sense of connection with who we were in the past and will be in the future, can help to navigate difficult choices – in part, because it helps us predict our own future preferences.

Life Events

How does our personality influence the way we deal with stressful life events, and how do relatively stable traits play out as we navigate dynamic experiences such as retirement, health problems, and trauma? Across diverse groups of participants, we have found that stable personality traits can convey vulnerability or protection, but the specific mechanisms behind such effects vary across contexts and populations.

Social Relationships

As people get older, their social relationships change. In particular, close social ties to immediate family become more important in later life.  We examine how this affects health-relevant contexts such as shared medical decision making and caregiving.

Perceptions of Aging

Growing evidence suggests that our views of aging not only affect how we treat older people but also how well (or poorly) we age ourselves. Our laboratory has found that while some aspects of aging perceptions appear to be universal, others vary across cultures and this may account for disparities in aging outcomes across the world.

Translational Approach

Across the different research domains, our laboratory adopts a translational approach by which basic research conducted in laboratory settings is transferred into clinical and practice contexts with the ultimate goal of advancing public health. Strong ties with Weill Cornell Medical Center allow us to examine how basic age-related changes play out in clinical populations, particularly with regard to managing pain in later life.

Edited Books

Ong, A.D., & Löckenhoff, C.E. (Eds.). (2016). "Aging, emotion, and health". American Psychological Association.

Hess, T., Strough, J., & Löckenhoff, C.E. (Eds.). (2015). "Aging and decision making: Empirical and applied perspectives". Elsevier.

Selected Journal Articles

Löckenhoff, C.E., & *Rutt, J.L. (in press). Age differences in self-continuity: Converging evidence and directions for future research. "The Gerontologist".

 *Rutt, J.L., & Löckenhoff, C.E. (2016). From past to future: Temporal self-continuity across the life span. "Psychology and Aging, 31(6), 631-639". 

*Rutt, J.L. &  Löckenhoff, C.E. (2016). Age patterns in mental representations of time: Underlying constructs and relevant covariates. "Experimental Aging Research, 42(3), 289-306".

Sorokowski, P., Sorokowska, A., Frackowiak, T., & Löckenhoff, C. E. (2015). Aging perceptions in Tsimane Amazonian forager-farmers compared with two industrialized societies: The role of gender and acculturation. "Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences".

*Riffin, C., Pillemer, K., Reid, M.C., & Löckenhoff, C.E. (2015). Decision support preferences among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White older adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain. "Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences". 

Bazarova, N.N., *Chang, P., *Choi, Y.H., & Löckenhoff, C.E. (2015). Online social networking across the life span: Extending socioemotional selectivity theory to social networking sites. "Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 59"(2), 221-239.

Löckenhoff, C.E., Chan, W., McCrae, R., De Fruyt, F., Jussim, L., De Bolle, M., …, Terracciano, A. (2014). Gender stereotypes of personality: Universal and accurate? "Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 45"(5), 675-694.

*Riffin, C., Löckenhoff, C.E., Pillemer, K., Friedman, B., & Costa, P. (2013). Care recipient agreeableness is associated with caregiver subjective physical health status. "Journals of Gerontology: "Psychological Sciences, 68"(6), 927-930.

Löckenhoff, C.E., *Laucks, S., *Port, A.D., Tung, J., Wethington, E., Reid, M.C. (2013). Temporal horizons in pain management: A focus group study of physicians, physical therapists, and middle-aged and older adult patients. "The Gerontologist, 53"(5), 850-860.

Löckenhoff, C.E., *Cook, M.A., *Anderson, J.F., & Zayas, V. (2013). Age differences in responses to progressive social exclusion: The role of cognition and socioemotional functioning. "Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 68"(1), 13-22.

Löckenhoff, C.E., *Maresca, S.N., & *Reed, A.E. (2012). Who saves the best for last? Age differences in decisions about affective sequences. "Psychology and Aging", 27, 840-848.

Löckenhoff, C.E, Duberstein, P., Friedman, B., & Costa, P.T. Jr. (2011). Five-factor personality traits and subjective health among caregivers: The role of caregiver strain and self-efficacy. "Psychology and Aging", 26(3), 592-604.

Löckenhoff, C.E. (2011). Age, time, and decision making: From processing speed to global time horizons. "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences", 1235(1), 46-56.

Löckenhoff, C.E., O’Donoghue, T, & Dunning, D. (2011). Age differences in temporal discounting: The role of dispositional affect and anticipated emotions. "Psychology and Aging", 26(2), 274-284.

Löckenhoff, C.E, Terracciano, A., Patriciu, N.S., Eaton, W.W. & Costa, P.T., Jr. (2009). Self-reported extremely adverse life events and longitudinal changes in five-factor model personality traits in an urban sample. "Journal of Traumatic Stress", 22, 53-59.

Löckenhoff, C.E., De Fruyt, F., Terracciano, A., McCrae, R.R., De Bolle, M., & Costa, P.T. Jr. et al. (2009). Perceptions of aging across 26 cultures and their culture-level associates. "Psychology and Aging", 24, 941-954.

Löckenhoff, C.E, & Carstensen, L.L. (2008). Decision strategies in healthcare choices for self and others: Older adults make adjustments for the age of the decision target, younger adults do not. Journals of Gerontology: "Psychological Sciences", 63, P106-P109.

Löckenhoff, C.E., Costa, P.T., & Lane, R.D. (2008). Age differences in descriptions of emotional experience in oneself and others. "Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences", 63, P92-P99.

Terracciano, A., Löckenhoff, C.E., Zonderman, A.B., Ferrucci, L., & Costa, P.T. Jr., & (2008). Personality predictors of longevity: Activity, emotional stability, and conscientiousness. "Psychosomatic Medicine", 70, 621-627.

Löckenhoff, C.E., & Carstensen, L.L. (2007). Aging, emotion, and health-related decision strategies: Motivational manipulations can reduce age differences. "Psychology and Aging", 22, 134-146.

Löckenhoff, C.E., & Carstensen, L.L. (2004). Socioemotional selectivity theory, aging, and health: The increasingly delicate balance between regulating emotions and making tough choices. "Journal of Personality", 72, 1393 – 1424.

* indicates student co-authors

See Google Scholar for a complete list of publications.


Corinna Loeckenhoff is an Associate Professor of Human Development at Cornell University and an Associate Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Marburg, Germany and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the intramural research program of the National Institute on Aging before joining Cornell University in 2009.

Dr. Loeckenhoff is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. She was recognized as a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in 2011 and received the Margret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation Award in Behavioral and Social Gerontology from the Gerontological Society of America in 2014. Her efforts in teaching gerontology were honored by a SUNY Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013.

Graduate Students

Julia Nolte is currently obtaining a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology with Dr. Valerie Reyna and Dr. Corinna Löckenhoff. Her research interests span risk perception, decision making, lifespan development, and health. She is currently working on tailoring health and risk information to the processing preferences of different age and patient groups. This work has earned her the 2017 Margaret Holmes-Rovner Award for Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making.

Abby Yip is a 4th year Ph.D. student at the Healthy Aging Lab. She is interested in the relationships between actual affect and affective goals (i.e., ideal affect and avoided affect, which refer to how one ideally wants to feel and how one wants to avoid feeling), and how these emotional experiences are associated with decision-making and health outcomes across the adult lifespan age groups and different cultures. Her most recent project involves following older adults with chronic pain over an 8-day period and examines the associations between emotional experiences and pain experiences and outcomes.

Amy Chong Amy Chong is a PhD student working with Dr. Corinna Löckenhoff. Her research interests are aging, health, and decision making. At the Healthy Aging Lab, she is currently investigating physiological and cognitive mechanisms for age differences in decision making. Her goal is to better understand younger and older adults' decision-making processes, and apply empirical findings to help them make better decisions.

Undergraduate Students

Adam Schulman

MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Nutritional Science & Gerontology
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in how life experience affects aging. Specifically, I am want to learn about how life experience affects medical decisions and health related outcomes.
EXTRACURRICULARS:  Cornell University Emergency Medical Service (CUEMS), Deans Ambassador, Aquatic Health Lab

Gillian Fennell

MAJOR: Human Development
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in learning about the impacts of chronic pain on affect as well as the maintenance and enjoyment of established daily routines.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Alpha Phi Omega, PSYCH, Kappa Omicron Nu Human Ecology Honors Society

Hannah Rashdan

MAJOR: Global and Public Health Sciences
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in understanding how an individual’s mind transforms as the individual ages, particularly in process and decision making.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Arab Student Association and Cornell Ski Team, College of Human Ecology Student Advisor.

Jessica Richman

MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Gerontology
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested studying the consequences of our constantly aging population and how older adults cope with challenges regarding their health and wellbeing.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell University Emergency Medical Service (CUEMS), Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honor Society, Kappa Omicron Nu Human Ecology Honor Society

Nikita Lee

MAJOR: Biological Sciences
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I’m interested in looking at how age differences and people’s general life experiences have affected their decision making in healthcare choices.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell Circle K, Asian American Intervarsity, Cayuga Medical Center ED Scribe

Belinda Tang

MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Gerontology
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in understanding how people deal and manage chronic pain. Additionally, I want to learn more about the ways chronic pain can influence a person’s quality of life.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Project Generations, Cornell Minds Matter, Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Board, Human Ecology Ambassador

Caryn Levine

MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Gerontology 
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in understanding the role of chronic pain in an individual’s life and how it can affect the aging process. Additionally, I am interested in how individuals deal with their chronic pain.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell University Emergency Medical Service (CUEMS)

Karlee Patrick

MAJOR: Human Development
YEAR: 2020
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in studying how a person’s early life, along with their relationships and individual personalities, affects the aging process and decision making in any age group.   
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell Club Softball, Cornell Chorale, Alzheimer’s Help and Awareness, Psi Chi, KON

Brayden Lee

MAJOR: Human Body, Health & Society
YEAR: 2020
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested to see how psychological aspects (e.g. emotions / stress) influence human physiology and health-related decision making.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Research experience in science research center

Alexandria Dominguez

MAJOR: Human Development
YEAR: 2020
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in learning more about the variation in decision making over the lifespan, and the roles that health and personality play in this process. After having taken several aging classes here at Cornell, I am eager to learn how I can contribute to lessening the declines that are often experienced in old age.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Alpha Phi Omega, Phi Mu, Habitat for Humanity, Alzheimer’s Help and Awareness, Global Medical and Dental Brigades

Destiny Orantes

MAJOR: Psychology
YEAR: 2020
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in learning how decision making changes over the lifespan and which psychological factors play a role in decision making, especially in relation to health-related outcomes. EXTRACURRICULARS: Guiding Eyes for the Blind at Cornell, Cornell Tradition, Cornell Annual Fund and Tompkins County SPCA

Stephanie Deng

MAJOR: Human Biology, Health, and Society
YEAR: 2021
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in investigating how people can prevent health decline as they age. I especially appreciate the opportunity to interact directly with study participants to better understand what contributes to and what detracts from human health, specifically in exploring factors in health related decision-making.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Camp Kesem, Chinese Bible Study, Doctors Without Borders at Cornell

Sally Liu

MAJOR: Biological Science
YEAR: 2021
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in building relationships with people from different backgrounds, and joining the lab provides a great opportunity for me to explore the connection between aging and decision-making. Everything that I learned from the lab cannot be found anywhere else.       

Yunbin Kim

MAJOR: Biological Sciences
YEAR: 2021
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in how social and emotional factors influence the health-related decisions one makes across the lifespan. I am especially excited about the ability to directly interact with human participants as well as the involvement in physiological data collection.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Wet lab work at Cornell Vet School

Amber Haywood

MAJOR: Psychology
YEAR: 2021
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in aging as it relates to many social factors like class, race and gender. I am also interested in studying the physical effects of stress and decision making on the body
EXTRACURRICULARS: Building Ourselves Through Sisterhood and Service (B.O.S.S.), Residential Advisor in Donlon Hall, Cornell Tradition, Black Students United

MacKenzie Vick

MAJOR: Human biology, health, & Society
YEAR: 2021
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in learning about how the human mind changes with age, especially in regards to decision making about healthcare choices. Having previously assisted in a wet lab in California, I am excited to work with human participants.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity and College of Human Ecology Student Ambassador

Alexandra Woo

MAJOR: Human Biology, Health, and Society
YEAR: 2022
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I hope to research more about how health is impacted by age and risky behaviors. I’m also interested in studying what external factors influence the decisions individuals make and how that can be connected to their personality or character.
EXTRACURRICULARS: 2022 Class Councils, PreK-12 Tutor, Cayuga Medical Center ED Volunteer


Contact us today to participate in our research. Most studies take place on Cornell University's Ithaca Campus (free parking provided), but we occasionally gather data online as well. For more information on ongoing projects, call (607) 255-2457 or email us.

sisters young and old