For more information, see Ongoing and Published research.

Our research focuses on cognitive aging within the affective and sociocultural contexts. We study the thinking processes that people use to adapt to and make sense of life transitions and adversities across the life span. The core tenet of our research is that integrating one’s past, present, and future self is critical for adaptation, change, and optimal growth with a meaningful sense of continuity. We are interested in the utility of mental time travel, specifically how episodic past and future thinking may be leveraged for fostering continued adult development and aging well. We also consider how developmental changes in motivation and non-normative idiosyncratic life experiences such as immigration may jointly shape adult development, both emotionally and cognitively.

Our research topics include:

Episodic Past and Future Thinking 

  • Autobiographical memory in the context of adult development and aging 
  • Past and future thinking and goals 
  • Use of imagery induction to promote behavioral change

Changes in Motivation

  • Age-related changes in time appreciation  
  • Lifespan development of motivation in immigrants
  • Potential tradeoffs between emotional and cognitive well-being 

Methodologically, our research takes a mixed-methods approach that comprises qualitative content analysis and correlational and experimental study designs. It is our belief that qualitative data facilitate a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of human experiences across diverse contexts, while quantitative analysis provides succinct summaries of interrelations among factors that shape lives. We use address research questions.