Psychologist to Lecture on “Pathways to Longevity”

Howard Friedman to deliver annual Faculty Research Lecture on June 4

Howard Friedman

Distinguished Professor of Psychology Howard Friedman will deliver the 63rd annual Faculty Research Lecture on June 4.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Howard Friedman, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, will present the 63rd annual Faculty Research Lecture at UCR on Thursday, June 4, at 3:30 p.m. in the Genomics Building Auditorium. His topic is “Pathways to Longevity.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. Parking permits may be obtained at the kiosk on West Campus Drive near the University Avenue entrance to the campus.

The Faculty Research Lecturer Award is the highest honor that the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate bestows. Friedman, who is known internationally for his research on longevity, was selected for his leadership in the application of scientific methods in psychology to crucial human issues, his use of this approach to address important problems of human health and well-being, and his ability to communicate the results in an accessible form to policy-makers and to the general public, according to the Committee on the Faculty Research Lecturer.

Friedman is the co-author of “The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for health and Long life from the Landmark Eight-decade Study,” an award-winning book based on research which found that personality characteristics and social relations from childhood can predict one’s risk of dying decades later.

“The Longevity Project” is based on nearly two decades of research by Friedman and Leslie Martin, a UCR alumna who is a professor of psychology at La Sierra University and the book’s co-author. The two examined, refined and supplemented data gathered by the late Stanford University psychologist Louis Terman and subsequent researchers on more than 1,500 bright children who were about 10 years old when they were first studied in 1921.

The Longevity Project, as the study became known, followed the children through their lives, collecting information that included family histories and relationships, teacher and parent ratings of personality, hobbies, pet ownership, job success, education levels, military service and numerous other details.

Friedman is an internationally recognized leader in nonverbal communication and health psychology. His work examining the relation between psychology and health “has established this field as a major academic and scientific activity,” the Committee on the Faculty Research Lecturer said in its nominating letter. “His work on these topics has been rigorously scientific. He took and poured over the archives of the Terman study initiated at Stanford University in the 1930s and examined the longevity and cause of death of the project’s participants in relation to various psychological factors in their lives. His book … has itself become a landmark with important prescriptions for public policy.”

Friedman has been elected to several professional societies including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been given the Outstanding Contribution to Health Psychology award and the James Mc-Keen Cattell Fellow award from the Association for Psychological Science. He has received several major research grants including three grants from the National Institute on Aging.

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