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Affective Forecasting Across the Lifespan


  • Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Professor, Psychology

Affective experience, as defined by independent dimensions of valence and arousal, can change rapidly.  Yet empirical measures rarely capture the dynamics of subjective experience on a second-to-second timescale.  Investigators examined whether “affect dynamics” could be reliably probed in real time during a task in which participants anticipated and received monetary incentives.  The results implied that older adults do not show neural or affective reactions during anticipation of monetary losses.  Findings from this basic research program may have implications for judgment and decision-making, saving across the life span, and fiscal policy related to social security and regulation of product appeals. Project extension funds were used to perform more fMRI scans on additional participants to supplement project findings.  An R21 (5R21AG030778-02) grant proposal on neuroeconomics of aging was funded by the NIA in 2008.  Seven manuscripts stemming from this project have been published.