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Hershey, Douglas

Hershey, Douglas


Douglas Hershey, born in Berkeley, California USA, 1959. Ph.D. from University of Southern California. Professor of Psychology; Director, Retirement Planning Research Laboratory at Oklahoma State University.

Theme Group Fellow (1 February – 30 June 2016)

Human Agency and Life Course Retirement Planning

Research Question

The research I plan to undertake as a NIAS fellow will examine how (and how well) individuals plan for retirement over the course of their lives, and particularly, during the five to ten years that immediately precede their transition out of the workforce.

Project Description

My work will examine the extent to which patterns of productive behavior seen near the end of individuals’ labor market careers are the result of active planning and agency by older adults developing their own life course. From a basic science perspective, this work will involve developing models of the psychological, social, and economic factors that govern individuals’ retirement planning behaviors. In the past, I have been successful at characterizing how individual difference variables (people’s goals, knowledge, personality dimensions) and social forces shape the thought processes and decisions of workers preparing for retirement. The proposed research will be novel and innovative, as I will be working with data that taps into the rapidly changing cultural values and pension dynamics that surround retirement in the Netherlands.

Selected Publications

1) Hershey, D. A., & Henkens, K. (2013). Impact of different types of retirement transitions on perceived satisfaction with life. The Gerontologist, 54, 233-244. doi:10.1093/geront/gnt006

2) Hershey, D. A., Henkens, K., & van Dalen (2010). What drives retirement income worry in Europe? A multi-level analysis. European Journal of Aging, 7, 301-311.

3) Hershey, D. A., Henkens, K., & van Dalen, H. P. (2010).  Aging and financial planning for retirement: Interdisciplinary influences viewed through a cross-cultural lens.  International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70, 1-38. doi:10.2190/AG.70.1.a

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