03 - Happy to be unhappy? Pro- and contra-hedonic orientations from adolescence to old age
From Marshall Perryman
October 3, 2013
The conference aimed to close the gap between two burgeoning fields of research at the intersection of aging, emotion, and health. On the one hand, recent advances in affective science have documented systematic age differences in emotional processing, affective experience, and affect regulation. Although researchers are beginning to explore the neural, cognitive, and motivational mechanisms behind such effects, their contributions to later-life health and well-being are not fully understood. On the other hand, research on the psychobiology of health and disease has provided growing evidence for the role of psychosocial factors (e.g., mental health, positive and negative emotionality) in physical health. Specific pathways including biological and behavioral mechanisms are beginning to emerge, but their potential for yielding answers to developmental questions involving intraindividual variability and change has yet to be realized. To integrate these lines of inquiry, the conference convened leaders in the respective fields for two days of intense dialogue aimed at setting the stage for transformative future research.