Dr. K. Warner Schaie, 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Because of Dr. K. Warner Schaie, millions of people have the option of remaining employed as they reach their sixties and seventies.

Dr. Schaie has spent his career studying psychological development from young adulthood to advanced old age. His research in the field of geropsychology has resulted in changes in public policy including the raising of mandatory retirement ages from 65 to 70 in most fields.

For his body of scientific inquiry, his influence in shaping the field of geropsychology, and for the success of his students in their own careers, Dr. Schaie has been named the recipient of the Mensa Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Mensa is an organization for anyone who scores in the top 2 percent on a standardized intelligence test. The foundation is the affiliate of Mensa that aims to foster human intelligence and encourage research in intelligence and giftedness.

“Those approaching retirement are an ever-growing segment of the population,” said Dr. Michael Jacobson, President of the Foundation. “As the number of older people increases, so does the importance of Dr. Schaie’s work. This award recognizes Dr. Schaie for being a pioneer in the field of geropsychology.”

Dr. Schaie is currently the director of the Gerontology Center at Penn State University. His Seattle Longitudinal Study has involved testing more than 5,000 people ages 20 to 90+ to discover what happens to the intellectual abilities of aging people. Through this study, he has identified several common factors of those who maintain mental acumen in old age including a high standard of living, a flexible personality style at midlife, having an intelligent spouse, involvement in a complex and intellectually stimulating environment, and maintaining high levels of perceptual processing speed.

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