Li (Leigh) Chu is a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Laura Carstensen at Stanford University. She is most intrigued by topics relating to aging, curiosity, learning motivation and technological acceptance. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology with Dr. Helene Fung at Chinese University of Hong Kong and her B.A. at University of British Columbia. In the past, she also worked with Dr. Christiane Hoppmann (UBC), Dr. Su-ling Yeh (NTU) and Dr. Nancy Pachana (UQ).

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All Publications

  • Age-related emotional advantages in encountering novel situation in daily life. Psychology and aging Chu, L., Shavit, Y. Z., Ram, N., Carstensen, L. L. 2024; 39 (2): 113-125


    People encounter novel situations throughout their lives that contribute to the acquisition of knowledge and experience. However, novelty can be misaligned with goals and motivation in later adulthood according to socioemotional selectivity theory. This study investigated age differences in emotional reactions associated with novel experiences. Multilevel structural equation models were used to analyze experience-sampling data obtained from an adult sample of 375 participants aged 18-94 years who reported their current situation and momentary emotional experience five times per day for 7 days. On occasions where situations were rated as more novel, people reported reduced positive and increased negative emotion. Those who had more overall exposure to novel situations tended to have more negative emotional experiences in general. Contrary to our hypothesis, there were age differences in individuals' negative emotional reactivity to situations that are perceived as more novel, such that novel situations were reported as less negative among older adults. By applying theoretical understanding of age differences in motivation and well-being in adulthood, our findings illuminate aspects of situations that elicit negative emotions. Findings highlight age-related benefits in emotional well-being, consistent with socioemotional selectivity theory postulates, and further implies that older adults may not be novelty averse. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/pag0000798

    View details for PubMedID 38436654

  • Rethinking the measurement of time horizons in the context of socioemotional selectivity theory. International psychogeriatrics Chu, L., Carstensen, L. L. 2023: 1-8

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S1041610223000522

    View details for PubMedID 37308455

  • The perks of doing housework: Longitudinal associations with survival and underlying mechanisms. BMC geriatrics Chu, L., Gong, X., Lay, J. C., Zhang, F., Fung, H. H., Kwok, T. 2023; 23 (1): 355


    Although the majority of existing literature has suggested positive effects of housework on older adults' health and survival rate, the underlying mechanisms of such effects remain unclear. To address potential mechanisms, the present study examined the association between older adults' housework engagement and days of survival across 14 years and tested three potential mediation pathways in this association.Four thousand Hong Kong older adults (50% female; aged between 65 and 98 years) participated in a longitudinal study in which they reported initial housework engagement and health status across three domains (cognitive functioning, physical health, and mental health) at the baseline, and the numbers of days they survived over the subsequent 14-year period were recorded. Linear regression, Cox proportional hazard, and parallel mediation analyses were performed to examine the relationship between housework engagement and days survived, and the mediating effects of these three health factors.The results showed a positive association between housework engagement and days survived after controlling for demographic variables (age, sex, education, marital status, subjective social status, and living alone). Physical health and mental health, but not cognitive functioning, partially mediated the relationship between housework engagement and days survived. The findings suggest that doing housework may contribute to longer survival by improving older adults' physical and mental health.The current study confirms positive relations of housework with health and mortality among Hong Kong older adults. As the first study examining the relationships and mediation pathways between doing housework and survival in later life, the findings advance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the positive association between housework and mortality and provide insights for future daily-life health-promotion interventions for older adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12877-023-04039-1

    View details for PubMedID 37280557

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10242587

  • The mediating role of loneliness on relations between face-to-face and virtual interactions and psychological well-being across age: A 21-day diary study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT Tsang, V. L., Tse, D. K., Chu, L., Fung, H. H., Mai, C., Zhang, H. 2022
  • Ageing attitudes and mental health in middle and later adulthood: The buffering effect of education. Australasian journal on ageing Chu, L., Burton, N. W., Pachana, N. A. 1800


    OBJECTIVES: Negative attitudes towards ageing have been associated with poor mental well-being, and protective factors are not well-understood. This study examined the relationship between ageing attitudes and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the potential moderating effect of age, and buffering effects of social support, physical activity and education.METHODS: This study used a subsample of 482 adults aged 50+ years from a mail questionnaire study in Brisbane, Australia. Data were analysed using linear regression.RESULTS: People with more positive ageing attitudes reported fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, with no moderating effect of age. There was a significant interaction between ageing attitudes and education on depression, and a similar trend for anxiety.CONCLUSION: This study confirmed the adverse impacts of negative ageing attitudes on mental health and indicated that those with low education may be most vulnerable. This has implications for future research and targeting interventions for mental health promotion.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ajag.13035

    View details for PubMedID 35075745

  • Age Differences in State Curiosity: Examining the Role of Personal Relevance. Gerontology Chu, L., Fung, H. H. 2021: 1-9


    OBJECTIVES: Curiosity, or the desire for novel information and/or experience, is associated with improved well-being and more informed decisions, which has implications on older adults' (OAs') adoption of novel technologies. There have been suggestions that curiosity tends to decline with age. However, it was rarely studied under specific contexts, and there were relatively limited attempts to enhance OAs' curiosity. Under the theoretical framework of selective engagement theory, we examined age differences of curiosity in the context of learning a novel technology and investigated the moderating role of personal relevance.METHOD: This study utilized a pretest-posttest experimental design with a total of 50 younger adults (YAs) and 50 OAs from Hong Kong to measure their trait curiosity, perceived personal relevance, and state curiosity toward robots after interacting with a robot.RESULTS: OAs showed significantly lower trait curiosity than YAs, but OAs showed a higher level of state curiosity toward a robot than YAs when they perceived an increase in personal relevance after interacting with the robot.CONCLUSION: Findings replicated previous findings that trait curiosity declined with age, but they also illustrated the distinctions between trait and state curiosity in the context of aging and highlighted the potential role of personal relevance in enhancing curiosity of OAs.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000516296

    View details for PubMedID 34062532

  • Association between age and intellectual curiosity: the mediating roles of future time perspective and importance of curiosity. European journal of ageing Chu, L., Tsai, J. L., Fung, H. H. 2021; 18 (1): 45-53


    This study aimed to examine the underlying mechanism behind the association of age and intellectual curiosity. Previous studies generally showed a negative association between age and intellectual curiosity. To shed light on this association, we hypothesize that older adults become more selective in where they invest their curiosity compared with younger adults. The present study (Nā€‰=ā€‰857) first examined the association between age and intellectual curiosity and then the mediation roles of future time perspective and perceived importance of curiosity in the association. The moderation effect of culture was also included to test the generalizability of this model across European Americans, Chinese Americans, and Hong Kong Chinese. The findings suggested that there was a significant negative association between age and intellectual curiosity, even after controlling for sex, culture, and education level. The moderated serial multiple mediation model demonstrated that the indirect effect of age on curiosity through future time perspective and importance of curiosity was significant across all three cultural groups while age did not have a direct effect on intellectual curiosity. This finding suggested that, as future time becomes more limited with age, curiosity is less valued; hence, curiosity is negatively associated with the advance of age. This study illustrates the importance of future time and perceived importance of curiosity in explaining age-related differences in curiosity and sheds light on the situations in which older adults may be as intellectually curious as younger adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10433-020-00567-6

    View details for PubMedID 33746680

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7925741

  • Obtaining Information from Different Sources Matters During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Gerontologist Chu, L., Fung, H. H., Tse, D. C., Tsang, V. H., Zhang, H., Mai, C. 2021


    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Older adults might be less information-seeking in comparison to younger adults. Yet, when a crisis hits, rather than relying on only a few information sources, it is important for people to gather information from a variety of different sources. With more information sources, people are more likely to obtain a more realistic perception of the situation and engagement of health behaviors. This study examined the association between age and information-seeking patterns, and how information-seeking patterns influenced worry about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and protective measures taken during the pandemic.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This study was conducted from March to May 2020. Ninety younger adults and 105 older adults were recruited in a 21-day daily diary study. Participants reported the types of sources where they received COVID-19-related information, worry from these information sources and protective health behaviors performed each day. Multilevel serial mediation analysis was performed.RESULTS: Concurrent and time-lagged analyses both revealed that older adults received information from more sources, and more frequently from traditional (e.g., newspaper and TV) and interpersonal sources (e.g., information shared by friends and families), than did younger adults. When receiving information from more sources, older adults were more worried about COVID-19 and performed more protective health behaviors.DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: These results demonstrated the utility of having more information sources in the context of a public health crisis and offered suggestions for future public communication and community engagement.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geront/gnaa222

    View details for PubMedID 33388758

  • Attitudes Toward Aging: A Glance Back at Research Developments Over the Past 75 Years JOURNALS OF GERONTOLOGY SERIES B-PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES Chu, L., Lay, J. C., Tsang, V., Fung, H. H. 2020; 75 (6): 1125ā€“29


    With global aging, it is crucial to understand how older adults and the process of aging are viewed by members of society. These attitudes can often influence how older adults are treated. Since the Journal of Gerontology was founded, we have gained increasing insights into attitudes toward aging, with several notable research developments, including clearer conceptualization of different types of aging attitudes (e.g., life-domain-specific attitudes and self-perceptions of aging), a wider variety of measurements, better understanding of how different social determinants shape aging attitudes, and more sophisticated investigations of cultural variance and invariance in aging attitudes. In this article, we highlight these major shifts in the field of aging attitudes in the past 75 years, discuss the contributions of these developments, and point to potential future directions.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbz155

    View details for Web of Science ID 000542082400005

    View details for PubMedID 32484890

  • Identifying Features that Enhance Older Adults' Acceptance of Robots: A Mixed Methods Study GERONTOLOGY Chu, L., Chen, H., Cheng, P., Ho, P., Weng, I., Yang, P., Chien, S., Tu, Y., Yang, C., Wang, T., Fung, H. H., Yeh, S. 2019; 65 (4): 441ā€“50


    With global aging, robots are considered a promising solution for handling the shortage of aged care and companionships. However, these technologies would serve little purpose if their intended users do not accept them. While the socioemotional selectivity theory predicts that older adults would accept robots that offer emotionally meaningful relationships, selective optimization with compensation model predicts that older adults would accept robots that compensate for their functional losses.The present study aims to understand older adults' expectations for robots and to compare older adults' acceptance ratings for 2 existing robots: one of them is a more human-like and more service-oriented robot and the other one is a more animal-like and more companion-oriented robot.A mixed methods study was conducted with 33 healthy, community-dwelling Taiwanese older adults (age range: 59-82 years). Participants first completed a semi-structured interview regarding their ideal robot. After receiving information about the 2 existing robots, they then completed the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology questionnaires to report their pre-implementation acceptance of the 2 robots.Interviews were transcribed for conventional content analysis with satisfactory inter-rater reliability. From the interview data, a collection of older adults' ideal robot characteristics emerged with highlights of humanlike qualities. From the questionnaire data, respondents showed a higher level of acceptance toward the more service-oriented robot than the more companion-oriented robot in terms of attitude, perceived adaptiveness, and perceived usefulness. From the mixed methods analyses, the finding that older adults had a higher level of positive attitude towards the more service-oriented robot than the more companion-oriented robot was predicted by higher expectation or preference for robots with more service-related functions.This study identified older adults' preference toward more functional and humanlike robots. Our findings provide practical suggestions for future robot designs that target the older population.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000494881

    View details for Web of Science ID 000475306300014

    View details for PubMedID 30844813

  • Corrigendum to: COVID-19, Time to Oneself, and Loneliness: Creativity as a Resource. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Pauly, T., Chu, L., Zambrano, E., Gerstorf, D., Hoppmann, C. A. 2022; 77 (4): e95

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbab196

    View details for PubMedID 35363876

  • COVID-19, time to oneself, and loneliness: Creativity as a resource. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Pauly, T. n., Chu, L. n., Zambrano, E. n., Gerstorf, D. n., Hoppmann, C. A. 2021


    Physical distancing to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 has increased alone time, with unintended mental health ramifications including increased loneliness, which may be particularly detrimental for older adults. We investigated time-varying associations between daily time to oneself and loneliness, and the role of everyday creativity as a resource.126 adults aged 18-84 completed online questionnaires including a 10-day daily diary module, during which they self-reported alone time, everyday creativity, and loneliness. Data were analyzed using multilevel models, controlling for study day, participation date, gender, and relationship status.Greater average amounts of alone time were associated with greater loneliness, an association that was stronger in old age. In a daily context, individuals reported feeling lonelier on days when they had more time to themselves than usual. This within-person association was weaker with older age. Everyday creativity did not moderate alone time-loneliness associations. However, holding time to oneself constant, participants felt less lonely and less bothered by alone time on days when they were more creative than usual.Participating in creative behaviors (e.g., pursuing arts and crafts) might be linked with reduced loneliness. Intervention studies are needed to investigate whether fostering creativity could help promote mental well-being in times when people, especially older adults, are vulnerable to loneliness and associated health risks.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbab070

    View details for PubMedID 33930141

  • Does Positive Affect Relate to Meaning in Life Differently in Younger and Older Adults? A Time Sampling Study. The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences Chu, S. T., Fung, H. H., Chu, L. 2019


    Prior studies have found that as people age, they value low-arousal positive affect (LAP) to a greater extent and high-arousal positive affect (HAP) to a lower extent. We aimed to investigate whether actually achieving those ideal affects was related to better well-being outcomes, measured in terms of meaning in life.Using a time sampling design across 14 days (N = 162), we investigated whether the experience of LAP and HAP was related to the experience of meaning in life and how these associations differed across younger and older adults in Hong Kong.Both LAP and HAP contributed to the experience of meaning in life for both younger and older adults. The global effect of LAP on meaning in life was stronger for older than younger adults, whereas the momentary effect of HAP on meaning in life was stronger for younger adults than older adults.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/geronb/gbz086

    View details for PubMedID 31251360