Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Age and Time Horizons Are Associated With Preferences for Helping Colleagues. Work, aging and retirement Shavit, Y. Z., Chi, K., Carstensen, L. L. 2023; 9 (3): 280-290


    The present study examined the causal role of time horizons in age differences in worker motivation. Based on socioemotional selectivity theory (SST), we hypothesized that under unspecified time horizons, older workers prefer to engage in emotionally meaningful work activities more so than younger workers. We further hypothesized that when time horizons at work are expanded or limited, age differences are eliminated. We recruited a sample of employees (N = 555) and randomly assigned them to one of three experimental conditions: a no-instruction condition in which time horizons were not specified, an expanded time horizons condition, or a limited horizons condition. We asked participants to choose from among three options for work-related activities: Helping a colleague or a friend, working on a career-advancing project, or working on a project which may take the company in a new direction. Consistent with SST postulates, we found that age was associated with preferences for helping colleagues in the unspecified horizons condition, and that age differences were eliminated when time horizons were extended or limited. As hypothesized, expanding time horizons reduced employees' likelihood of choosing to help colleagues. Contrary to our hypothesis, limiting time horizons also reduced the likelihood of choosing to help colleagues. Alternative explanations are considered. Findings suggest that age differences in worker motivation are shaped by time horizons and that modification of time horizons can alter work preferences.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/workar/waac024

    View details for PubMedID 37333952

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10276127

  • Age differences in emotional experiences associated with helping and learning at work. Psychology and aging Chi, K., Ram, N., Carstensen, L. L. 2023


    Drawing on socioemotional selectivity theory and goal theories of emotion, this study examined age differences in helping and learning activities at work and the emotional correlates of such activities. We hypothesized that older workers help colleagues more than younger workers and derive greater emotional benefits from helping; and that younger workers learn more often at work and derive greater emotional benefits from learning. Frequency of employees' (N = 365; age 18-78 years) helping, learning, and emotional experience were monitored for 5 days using a modified day reconstruction method. We found that older workers engaged in helping more than younger workers and reported greater positive emotions from helping. Contrary to our hypothesis, younger and older workers engaged in learning activities at similar frequencies. However, in line with our hypothesis, learning was associated with more positive emotions for younger workers. Findings suggest thoughtful consideration of how to optimize work activities and practices that promote emotional well-being of both younger and older workers. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000756

    View details for PubMedID 37289515

  • Daily Prosocial Activities and Well-Being: Age Moderation in Two National Studies PSYCHOLOGY AND AGING Chi, K., Almeida, D. M., Charles, S. T., Sin, N. L. 2021; 36 (1): 83–95


    Prosocial activities, such as volunteering, predict better mental and physical health in late adulthood, but their proximal links to well-being in daily life are largely unknown. The current study examined day-to-day associations of prosocial activities with emotional and physical well-being, and whether these associations differ with age. We used daily diary data from the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE) II (n = 2,016; ages 33-84) and NSDE Refresher Study (n = 774; ages 25-75). Participants completed telephone interviews on 8 consecutive evenings regarding their prosocial activities (formal volunteering, providing unpaid assistance, providing emotional support), well-being (negative affect, stressors, positive events), and physical symptoms. On days when individuals participated in more formal volunteering or provided more unpaid assistance than usual, they experienced more stressors and positive events but no difference in the number of physical symptoms. Negative affect was reduced on volunteering days for older adults but increased for younger adults (NSDE Refresher). Providing emotional support was associated with higher same-day negative affect, more stressors, more positive events, and elevated physical symptoms. Compared to younger and middle-aged adults, older adults experienced less of an increase in stressors and positive events (NSDE II) and negative affect (NSDE Refresher) on days when they provided more emotional support than usual. These findings demonstrate that prosocial activities are associated with both costs (negative affect, stressors, physical symptoms) and benefits (positive events) for same-day well-being. Older age may protect against negative ramifications associated with prosocial activities. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000460

    View details for Web of Science ID 000627664400008

    View details for PubMedID 33705187

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7954238

  • Emotion and prosocial giving in older adults Nature Aging Carstensen, L. L., Chi, K. 2021; 1