Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Education, National Taiwan Normal University (2003)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Florida (2017)
  • Master of Education, University of Missouri Columbia (2009)
  • Master of Education, National Taiwan Normal University (2009)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

My program of research aims to answer two broad questions: What factors contribute to long and meaningful lives? How do individual life experiences, particularly those that are personally significant and challenging, shape the pursuit of meaning across adulthood in diverse contexts? I address these questions from a functional approach to autobiographical memory. Specifically, my work has focused on (1) emotional memories, meaning-making and adult well-being, (2) developmental changes in motivation and its relation to autobiographical remembering, and (3) sociocultural factors that shape the remembering. My most recent research explores potential cognitive costs associated with the pursuit of meaning in diverse aging groups.

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Counting down while time flies: implications of age-related time acceleration for goal pursuit across adulthood CURRENT OPINION IN PSYCHOLOGY Giasson, H. L., Liao, H., Carstensen, L. L. 2019; 26: 85–89
  • Loss in the Life Story: Remembering Death and Illness Across Adulthood. Psychological reports Mroz, E. L., Bluck, S., Sharma, S., Liao, H. W. 2019: 33294119854175


    The experience of loss has not often been studied in the life story literature. Life disruption when loss of a loved one occurs may make loss events distinct, even from other challenges, when recalled. Optimally, individuals incorporate such events into their life story in a way that allows them to reflect positively on their life overall. We suggest that telling narratives that represent loss as leading to personal growth or as highlighting one's connectedness to others may allow a positive view of life overall. In contrast, ruminating may signal a lack of meaningful integration of the event. The current study investigates personal growth from, communion in, and rumination about memories of past loss events. It also determines how these factors relate to positive reflection on one's life overall. Age was explored as a moderator of these relations. Participants (29 younger adults, 40 older adults) narrated an autobiographical loss event and, for comparison, a non-loss challenging life event and a neutral event. Narratives were self-rated for rumination and extent of resultant personal growth, and reliably content-coded for themes of communion. Participants also completed a measure of positive reflection on their life. Loss narratives resulted in more personal growth and contained more communion themes than other challenging or neutral events. Greater loss-related personal growth predicted more positive life reflection for younger adults. How individuals recall and incorporate loss into their life story may relate differentially to psychosocial outcomes in different life phases.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0033294119854175

    View details for PubMedID 31159671

  • Future Time Perspective Moderates Consumer Responses to Nostalgic Advertising GEROPSYCH-THE JOURNAL OF GERONTOPSYCHOLOGY AND GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY Ju, I., Bluck, S., Liao, H. 2018; 31 (3): 137–50
  • Future Time Perspective Time Horizons and Beyond GEROPSYCH-THE JOURNAL OF GERONTOPSYCHOLOGY AND GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY Liao, H., Carstensen, L. L. 2018; 31 (3): 163–67
  • Creating Nostalgic Advertising Based on the Reminiscence Bump: Diachronic Relevance and Purchase Intent APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Ju, I., Choi, Y., Morris, J., Liao, H., Bluck, S. 2016; 30 (3): 465–71

    View details for DOI 10.1002/acp.3210

    View details for Web of Science ID 000380275500017

  • Functions of autobiographical memory in Taiwanese and American emerging adults MEMORY Liao, H., Bluck, S., Alea, N., Cheng, C. 2016; 24 (4): 423–36


    The study addresses cultural and person-level factors contributing to emerging adult's use of memory to serve adaptive functions. The focus is on three functions: self-continuity, social-bonding and directing-behaviour. Taiwanese (N = 85, 52 women) and American (N = 95, 51 women) emerging adults completed the Thinking about Life Experiences scale, and measures of trait personality, self-concept clarity and future time perspective. Findings show that individuals from both cultures use memory to serve these three functions, but Taiwanese individuals use memory more frequently than Americans to maintain self-continuity. Culture also interacted with person-level factors: in Taiwan, but not America, memory is more frequently used to create self-continuity in individuals high in conscientiousness. Across cultures, having lower self-concept clarity was related to greater use of memory to create self-continuity. Findings are discussed in terms of how memory serves functions in context and specific aspects of the Taiwanese and American cultural context that may predict the functional use of memory in emerging adulthood.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/09658211.2015.1015572

    View details for Web of Science ID 000371894500001

    View details for PubMedID 25738659

  • Young Women in Today's Taiwan: Relation of Identity Status and Redemptive Narration to Psychological Well-Being SEX ROLES Liao, H., Bluck, S., Cheng, C. 2015; 73 (5-6): 258–72