Feature

Cognitive psychologist Ulrich Mayr, PhD, can't help but think about psychology through the lens of the lifespan. He spent his graduate school years under the wing of lifespan researcher Paul Baltes, PhD, at the Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Germany, and it's now part of his identity to integrate questions of aging into most of what he does.

Now a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, Mayr feels right at home as the new Editor of Psychology and Aging®. "I know the field very well," he says. "Even as I've branched into other areas of research, I've kept a lifespan perspective."

As Mayr begins accepting manuscripts in January, he would like to see a broader range of ages represented in the journal's articles, not just old age as it compares with college students.

"In the cognitive domain, for example, the aging process starts at 25," he says. "What happens between 25 and 45? We don't see many studies focused there."

Mayr will also work to maintain the interdisciplinary flavor of the journal, publishing articles that cover a broad spectrum of research across all areas of psychology. "This is something that I cherish, both in my work and as an editor," he says.

In fact, Mayr doesn't plan many changes to Psychology of Aging. Submissions have been on a steady increase over the years, and he feels that he's in a position to increase the journal's prestige by focusing on papers that will have the biggest influence on the field.

He'd also like to pull together some special issues, and he welcomes ideas from readers. "Special issues typically do very well and garner a lot of interest," he says. "They're a good vehicle to bring things that are not necessarily at the center of a field into greater focus, or to allow the field to take stock of where it's headed."


Beth Azar is a writer in Portland, Ore.