Joseph Mikels
Assistant Professor

Web Bio Page

Current Activities

Current Professional Activities
American Psychological Association, Division 20 Executive Board (Education)
Undergraduate Education Committee, Cornell University, Human Development
Human Development Representative for the Cornell Faculty Senate

Gerontological Society of America, Member
Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Member
Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Member
International Society for Behavioural Neuroscience, Member
Society for Neuroscience, Member
Association for Psychological Science, Member
American Psychological Association, Division 20, Member
Psychonomic Society, Associate Member

Ad-hoc Reviewer for: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Psychological Science; Psychology and Aging; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Emotion; Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Science; Behavior Research Methods; Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience; Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience; Journal of Experimental Psychology: LMC; Cognition and Emotion; Cortex; Motivation and Emotion

Current Research Activities
Dr. Mikels' research program represents a multi-level analysis of the interface between emotion and cognition, and how emotion-cognition interactions relate to and underlie complex social behavior. His laboratory, the Emotion and Cognition Laboratory, conducts behavioral, neuroimaging, and life-span studies examining how emotion interfaces with cognitive processes such as working memory and selective attention. In another line of research, the lab studies the role of emotion-cognition interactions in complex decision making, and how the decision quality of older adults could be improved.


Stanford University
Postdoctoral fellow, Psychology [2003-2006]

University of Michigan
Ph.D., Psychology [2003]
M.S., Psychology [2000]

Illinois Wesleyan University
B.A., Psychology and German [1998], Summa cum laude

Aging and health, Social and personality development, Human behavioral neuroscience, Cognitive development, Emotion, Cognition, Social development, Aging, Decision making, Neuroscience

Courses, Websites, Pubs

Courses Taught
Instructor, Human Development 4180, Aging: Contemporary Issues, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Spring 2010

Instructor, Human Development 4220, Research in Emotion and Cognition, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Fall 2009

Instructor, Human Development 2610, The Development of Social Behavior, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Fall 2009

Instructor, Human Development 6110, Psychology of Emotion, Department of Human Development, Cornell University, Spring 2009

Related Websites

Emotion and Cognition Laboratory

Selected Publications


Mikels, J. A., Loeckenhoff, C., Maglio, S., Goldstein, M., Garber, A., & Carstensen, L. L. (in press). Following your heart or your head: Focusing on emotions versus information differentially influences the decisions of younger and older adults.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

Shamaskin, A. M., Mikels, J. A., & Reed, A. E. (in press).  Getting the message across: Age differences in the positive and negative framing of healthcare messages.  Psychology and Aging.

Sullivan, S., Mikels, J. A., & Carstensen, L. L. (in press).  You never lose the ages you've been: How age facilitates perspective taking ability in an affective domain.  Psychology and Aging.

Mikels, J. A., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (in press).  Emotion and working memory.  In H. Pashler (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Mind.

Mikels, J. A., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (in press).  Affective working memory: Converging evidence for a new construct.  In S. Yoshikawa (Ed.), Emotional Mind: New Directions in Affective Science.

Mikels, J. A., & Reed, A. E. (2009). Monetary losses do not loom large in later life: Age differences in the framing effect. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B(4), 457-460.

Mikels, J. A., Reed, A. E., & Simon, K. I. (2009). Older adults place lower value on choice relative to young adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 64B(4), 443-446.

Samanez-Larkin, G. R., Robertson, E. R., Mikels, J. A., Carstensen, L. L., Gotlib, I. H. (2009).  Selective attention to emotion in the aging brain.  Psychology and Aging, 24(3), 519–529.

Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A., & Conway, A. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion, 9(3), 361-368.

Mikels, J. A., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Beyer, J. A., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2008). Emotion and working memory: Evidence for domain-specific processes for affective maintenance. Emotion, 8(2), 256-266.

Reed, A. E., Mikels, J. A., & Simon, K. I. (2008). Older adults prefer less choice than younger adults. Psychology and Aging, 23(3), 671-675.

Ersner-Hershfield, H., Mikels, J. A., Sullivan, S. J., & Carstensen, L. L. (2008). Poignancy: Mixed emotional experience in the face of meaningful endings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(1) 158-167.

Stevenson, R. A., Mikels, J. A., & James, T. W. (2007). Characterization of affective norms for English words by discrete emotional categories. Behavior Research Methods, 39(4), 1020-1024.

Carstensen, L. L., Mikels, J. A., & Mather, M. (2006). Aging and the intersection of cognition, motivation and emotion. In J. Birren & K.W. Schaie (Eds) Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, San Diego: Academic Press. Sixth Edition. (pp. 343-362).

Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., & Mikels, J. A. (2006). The aging brain: Implications of enduring plasticity for behavioral and cultural change. In P.B. Baltes, P.A. Reuter-Lorenz, & F. Roesler (Eds.), Lifespan Development and the Brain: The Perspective of Biocultural Co-Constructivism, New York: Cambridge University Press. (pp. 255-276).

Britton, J. C., Taylor, S. F., Berridge, K. C., Mikels, J. A., & Liberzon, I. (2006). Differential subjective and psychophysiological responses to socially and nonsocially generated emotional stimuli. Emotion, 6(1), 150-155.

Carstensen, L. L. & Mikels, J. A. (2005). At the intersection of emotion and cognition: Aging and the positivity effect. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(3), 117-121.

Mikels, J. A., Larkin, G. R., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., & Carstensen, L. L. (2005). Divergent trajectories in the aging mind: Changes in working memory for affective versus visual information with age. Psychology and Aging, 20(4), 542-553.

Mikels, J. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Larkin, G. R., Lindberg, C. M., Maglio, S. J., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (2005). Emotional category data on images from the International Affective Picture System. Behavior Research Methods, 37(4), 626-630.

Keller, M., Fredrickson, B., Ybarra, O., Côté, S., Johnson, K., Mikels, J., Conway, A. & Wager, T. (2005). A warm heart and a clear head: The contingent effects of weather on mood and cognition. Psychological Science, 16(9), 724-731.

Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. & Mikels, J. A. (2005). A split-brain model of Alzheimer’s disease? Behavioral evidence for comparable intra and inter hemispheric decline. Neuropsychologia, 43(9), 1307-1317.