On May 22nd, 2013, the National Institute on Aging, NIH, along with the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP), and the Association of Psychological Science (APA), convened a one-day meeting entitled “Psychological Science and Behavioral Economics: In the Service of Public Policy.”

The meeting brought together noted scholars of psychological science and behavioral economics to discuss how social and behavioral research can influence public policy approaches to a range of issues, from encouraging retirement saving to controlling health costs. Three Stanford faculty attended the meeting: Dr. Laura Carstensen, Professor of Psychology and the Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity; Dr. John Beshears, Assistant Professor of Finance in the Graduate School of Business; and Dr. Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology. Dr. Carstensen delivered a presentation on the key challenges facing aging societies, particularly around the issue of motivation. According to Dr. Carstensen, although life span has increased dramatically, the culture in which we live has not. As a result, it is important to establish connections between people’s present and future selves so that they make decisions that will optimize their health and well-being into old age.

A detailed summary of the entire meeting is available here.