Loeckenhoff lab group

The Healthy Aging Laboratory is directed by Dr. Corinna E. Loeckenhoff and located in the College of Human Ecology, Department of Human Development, 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 is a PhD student working with Dr. Corinna Löckenhoff and Dr. Valerie Reyna. Her research interests are aging, health, decision making, and probability judgment. 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

Erin Mulvihill
MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Nutrition & Health
YEAR: 2018
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in the effects of the aging process on psychological development, particularly changes in time horizons. 
EXTRACURRICULARS: Camp Kesem, Club Field Hockey

Eugenia Xiao
MAJOR: Anthropology/Biological Sciences
YEAR: 2018
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I wanted to work directly with human subjects and learn about how aging impacts one’s illness experience.  
EXTRACURRICULARS: Partners in Health Engage

Jessi Kruse
MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Gerontology & Inequality Studies
YEAR: 2018
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: My research focuses on the intersection of psychological well-being and physical health in older adults. The Healthy Aging Lab has allowed me to pursue these research interests, and after graduation I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus in geropsychology.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell University Emergency Medical Service (CUEMS)

Scott Ho
MAJOR: Biology and Society, Minor: Inequality Studies
YEAR: 2018
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in how personal characteristics and socioeconomic conditions intersect with health. The fact that we get to work with human subjects makes this even more exciting!
EXTRACURRICULARS: Learning Strategies Center Tutor, Asian & Asian-American Center, LGBT Resource Center

Morgan Cohen
MAJOR: Human Development
YEAR: 2018
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested to see how aging, relationships, and culture impact human behavior and individual mental states.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Lab Manager, Cornell Association of Medicine and Philanthropy (CAMP), Photographer for the Cornell Vice Provost of International Affairs, Cornell University Program Board, Ivy Council // IvyCORPS

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

Belinda Tang
MAJOR: Human Development, Minor: Gerontology
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in understanding how people deal with 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

Caryn Levine
MAJOR: Human Development. Minor: Gerontology & Nutrition and Health
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)

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.

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

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), Consent Ed Ambassador

Juliet McCann
MAJOR: Global and Public Health Sciences, Minor: Health Policy
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in how people cope with and respond to pain later in life as well as what factors influence health related decision making among the elderly population.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Global Public Health Advisory Board, GlobeMed, Ithaca Free Clinic

Monis Ahsan
MAJOR: Policy Analysis and Management
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in interpersonal behavioral economics that stem from the changes in age and the various biological factors and policy implications that are thus associated.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Alpha Lambda Mu, IM Basketball

Natasha Nanji
MAJOR: Human Biology, Health and Society, Minor: Business
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: Being a volunteering enthusiast, I typically find myself at nursing homes. I find it fascinating to learn about pain management and the process of decision making about one’s health as one ages.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell Undergraduate Research Board, Dr. Levitsky’s Nutrition Lab, Cornell Minds Matter Lounge, Phi Chi Theta, Canadians at Cornell

Nikita Lee
MAJOR: Biological Sciences
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I want to know more about how pain affects one’s life decisions and thoughts about their future. With this knowledge, I hope to do some of my own research with veterans in the future.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Cornell Circle K, Asian American Intervarsity, Cayuga Medical Center ED Scribe

Yelizaveta Sapozhnikov
MAJOR: Biological Sciences
YEAR: 2019
WHY I JOINED THE LAB: I am interested in understanding how people deal with chronic pain better, especially how their aging process and prior experiences impact their behavior dealing with the pain.
EXTRACURRICULARS: Big Red Buddies, volunteer at Ithaca Free Clinic, Cupcakes for a Cure, Varsity Fencing Team

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

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