Prof. Dr. Ute Kunzmann

Consulting hours: by appointment

Room: 3010 

Phone: 0341-97-35967


Curriculum Vitae


Habilitation, Free University Berlin 
Die differentielle Entwicklung lebenspragmatischer Kompetenz im Erwachsenenalter und Alter 

PhD in Psychology (Dr. phil.), Free University Berlin 
Being and feeling in control: Two sources of older people's emotional well-being 

Diploma in Psychology, Free University Berlin 
Emotional Well-Being: Structure, Stability and Change

Professional Positions

since 2007 
Professor of Life-Span Developmental Psychology (W3), University Leipzig, Department of Psychology 

2004 - 2007 
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Jacobs University Bremen, Jacobs Center on Lifelong Learning and Institutional Development (Director: Prof. Ursula M. Staudinger) 

2000 - 2004 
Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Center for Life-Span Psychology (Director: Prof. Paul B. Baltes) 

1998 - 1999 
Post-Doctoral Stipend of the German Research Foundation, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research, Berkeley Psychophysiology Lab (Director: Prof. Robert W. Levenson) 

1994 - 1997 
Doctoral Stipend, Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Center for Life-Span Psychology (Director: Prof. Paul B. Baltes) 

1992 - 1994 
Research Assistent, Max Planck Institute of Human Development in Berlin, Center for Life-Span Psychology (Director: Prof. Paul B. Baltes) 

1991 - 1992 
Research Assistent, Free University Berlin, Social and Personality Research Group (Prof. Adolf O. Jäger and Prof. Heinz-Martin Süss)

Research Interests

Life-span developmental psychology

Processes of developmental regulation, successful aging

Emotional reactivity and emotion regulation across the lifespan

Age differences in empathy (accuracy, emotional congruence, and sympathy)

The stability paradox of affective well-being

The psychology of wisdom

Editorial Activity

Associate Editor

Psychology and Aging

Editorial Board Member


Emotion and Cognition

Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences

Review Activities: Institutions

Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung

Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes

Schweizer Nationalfond

Tempelton Foundation


Roebbig, J., Erbey, M., Babayan, A., Reiter, A.M.F, Kumral, D., Schaare, H.L., Reinelt, J.D., Gaebler, M., Kunzmann, U., & Villringer, A. (in press). Anger Regulation Choice- the Role of Age and Habitual Reappraisal. Emotion

Katzorreck, M., Wieck, C., & Kunzmann, U. (2020). Altersunterschiede in der Empathie: Theorien und empirische Evidenz. In M. Peters (Hrsg.) Psychotherapie im Alter- Theoriy of Mind, Empathie & Mentalisierung. 4/17. Jg. Tübingen: Psychosozial-Verlag.

Wieck, C., Kunzmann, U., & Scheibe, S. (in press). Empathy at Work: The Role of Age and Emotional Job Demands. Prosociality in Adult Development and Aging: Special Issue of Psychology and Aging. DOI: 10.1037/pag0000469

Weiss, D. & Kunzmann, U. (2020). Longitudinal Changes in Subjective Social Status are Linked to Changes in Positive and Negative Affect in Midlife, but not in Later Adulthood. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication.

Gerstorf, D., Drewelies, J., Duezel, S., Smith, J., Wahl, H.-W., Schilling, O., Kunzmann, U., Siebert, J., Katzorreck, M., Eibich, P., Demuth, I., Steinhagen-Thiessen, E., Wagner, G. G., Lindenberger, U., Heckhausen, J., & Ram, N. (2019). Cohort differences in adult-life trajectories of internal and external control beliefs: A tale of more and better maintained internal control and fewer external constraints. Psychology and Aging, 34, 1090-1108. doi: 10.1037/pag0000389

Rohr, M., Nestler, S., & Kunzmann, U. (2019). A trouble shared is a trouble halved: age differences in emotional experience and expression during couples’ conversations. Psychology and Aging, 34, 848-861. doi: 10.1037/pag0000386

Kunzmann, U. (2019). Wisdom and successful aging: The royal road to personality growth. In R. Fernandez-Ballesteros, A. Benethos, & J. M. Robine (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Successful Aging. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Zacher, H. & Kunzmann, U. (2019). Wisdom in the workplace. In R. Sternberg, H. Nussbaum, & J. Glück (Eds.), Applying Wisdom to Contemporary World Problems (pp. 255-292). Cham, CH: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kunzmann, U. (2019). Performance-based measures of wisdom: State of the art and future directions. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 277-296). Cambridge University Press.

Kunzmann, U. & Glück, J. (2019). Wisdom and emotion. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Glück (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Wisdom (pp. 575-601). Cambridge University Press.

Kunzmann, U., Schilling, O., Wrosch, C., Siebert, J. S., Katzorreck, M., Wahl, H.-W., & Gerstorf, D. (2019). Negative emotions and chronic physical illness: A lifespan developmental perspective. Health Psychology, 38, 949-959. doi: 10.1037/hea0000767

Barlow, M., Wrosch, C., Gouin, J. P., & Kunzmann, U. (2019). Is anger, but not sadness, associated with chronic inflammation and illness in older adulthood? Psychology and Aging, 34, 330-340. doi: 10.1037/pag0000348

Katzorreck, M. & Kunzmann, U. (2018). Greater empathic accuracy and emotional reactivity in old age: The sample case of death and dying. Psychology and Aging, 33, 1202-1214. doi: 10.1037/pag0000313

Scheibe, S. & Kunzmann, U. (2018). Territories of Positive Life Span Development: Wisdom and Sehnsucht (Life Longings). In C. R. Snyder, S. J. Lopez, L. M. Edwards, and S. C. Marques (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (3rd edition). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199396511.013.13

Gerstorf, D., Hülür, G., Wagner, G. G., Kunzmann, U., & Ram, N. (2018). Terminal change across facets of affective experience and domain satisfaction: Commonalities, differences, and bittersweet emotions at the end of life. Developmental Psychology, 54, 2382-2402. doi: 10.1037/dev0000599

Braun, T., Rohr, M., Wagner, J., & Kunzmann, U. (2018). Perceived reciprocity and relationship satisfaction: Age and relationship category matter. Psychology and Aging, 33, 713-727. doi: 10.1037/pag0000267

Wirth, M. & Kunzmann, U. (2018). Age Differences in Regulating Negative Emotions via Attentional Deployment. Psychology and Aging, 33, 384-398. doi: 10.1037/pag0000254

Wrosch, C., Barlow, M. A., & Kunzmann, U. (2018). Age-related changes in older adults' anger and sadness: the role of perceived control. Psychology and Aging, 33, 350-360. doi: 10.1037/pag0000229

Kunzmann, U., Wieck, C., & Dietzel, C. (2018). Empathic accuracy: age differences from adolescence into middle adulthood. Cognition and Emotion, 32, 1611-1624. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1433128

Kunzmann, U., & Wrosch, C. (2018). Comment: The emotion-health link: Perspectives from a lifespan theory of discrete emotions. Emotion Review, 10, 59-61. doi: 10.1177/1754073917719332

Kunzmann, U., Nowak, J., Thomas, S., & Nestler, S. (2017). Value relativism and perspective taking are two distinct facets of wisdom-related knowledge. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 8, 1384–1392. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbx136

Rakoczy, H., Wandt, R., Thomas, S., Nowak, J., & Kunzmann, U. (2017). Theory of mind and wisdom: The development of different forms of perspective-taking in late adulthood. British Journal of Psychology, 109, 6-24. doi:10.1111/bjop.12246

Rohr, M. K., Wieck, C., & Kunzmann, U. (2017). Age differences in positive feelings and their expression. Psychology and Aging, 32, 608-620. doi: 10.1037/pag0000200

Wirth, M., Isaacowitz, D. M., & Kunzmann, U. (2017). Visual attention and emotional reactions to negative stimuli: The role of age and cognitive reappraisal. Psychology and Aging, 32, 543-556. doi: 10.1037/pag0000188

Kunzmann, U., & Isaacowitz, D. (2017). Emotional aging: Taking the immediate context seriously. Research in Human Development, 14, 182-199. doi:10.1080/15427609.2017.1340048

Wieck, C. & Kunzmann, U. (2017). Age differences in emotion recognition: A question of modality? Psychology and Aging, 32, 401-411. doi: 10.1037/pag0000178

Braun, T., Schmukle, S. C., & Kunzmann, U. (2017). Stability and change in subjective well-being: The role of performance-based and self-rated cognition. Psychology and Aging, 32, 105-117. doi: 10.1037/pag0000153

Kunzmann, U. & Wrosch, C. (2017). Emotional development in old age. In N. A. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of geropsychology (pp. 752-762). New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_112

Kunzmann, U., Rohr, M., Wieck, C., Kappes, K., & Wrosch, C. (2017). Speaking about feelings: Further evidence for multidirectional age differences in anger and sadness. Psychology and Aging, 32, 93-103. doi: 10.1037/pag0000142

Wieck, C., & Kunzmann, U. (2015). Age differences in empathy: Multidirectional and context-dependent. Psychology and Aging, 30, 407-419. doi: 10.1037/a0039001

Kunzmann, U. & Thomas, S. (2015). Wisdom-related knowledge across the life span. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive Psychology in Practice (2 ed., pp. 577-594). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. doi: 10.1002/9781118996874.ch34

Kunzmann, U., Kappes, C., & Wrosch, C. (2014). Emotional aging: a discrete emotions perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1-5. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00380

Kunzmann, U. & Thomas, S. (2014). Multidirectional age differences in anger and sadness. Psychology and Aging, 29, 16-27. doi: 10.1037/a0035751

Thomas, S., & Kunzmann, U. (2014). Age differences in wisdom-related knowledge: Does the age-relevance of the task matter? The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 69, 897-905. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbt076

Kunzmann, U., Richter, D., & Schmukle, S. C. (2013). Stability and change in affective experience across the adult life span: analyses with a national sample from Germany. Emotion, 13, 1086-1095. doi: 10.1037/a0033572

Streubel, B. & Kunzmann, U. (2011). Age differences in emotional reactions: Arousal and age-relevance count. Psychology and Aging, 26, 966-978. doi: 10.1037/a0023424

Richter, D. & Kunzmann, U. (2011). Age differences in three facets of empathy: Perfomance-based evidence. Psychology and Aging, 26, 60-70. doi: 10.1037/a0021138

Richter, D., Dietzel, C. & Kunzmann, U. (2010). Age differences in emotion recognition: The task matters. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66, 48-55. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbq068.

Kunzmann, U. & Richter, D. (2009). Emotional reactivity across the adult life-span: The cognitive pragmatics make a difference. Psychology and Aging, 24, 879-889. doi: 10.1037/a0017347

Kunzmann, U. & Salisch, M., von (2009). Die Entwicklung von Emotionen und emotionalen Kompetenzen über die Lebensspanne. In G. Stemmler (Eds.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie: Psychologie der Emotion (pp. 528-569). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Scheibe, S., Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P. B. (2009). New territories of positive lifespan development: Wisdom and life longings. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Oxford handbook of Positive Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 171-183). New York: Oxford University Press.

Stange, A. & Kunzmann, U. (2009). Fostering wisdom: A psychological perspective. In M. Ferrari & G. Potworowski (Eds.), Teaching for wisdom: Cross-cultural perspectives on fostering wisdom (pp. 23-36). New York: Springer.

Kunzmann, U. (2008). Emotionale Entwicklung im Alter: Verlust oder Gewinn? In W. Janke, G. Debus & M. Schmidt-Daffy (Hrsg.), Experimentelle Emotionspsychologie (pp. 887-910). Lengerich. Papst Verlag.

Kunzmann, U. (2008). Differential age trajectories of positive and negative affect: Further evidence from the Berlin Aging Study. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 63, 261-270. doi: 10.1093/geronb/63.5.P261

Kunzmann, U. (2007). Wisdom: Motivational and emotional dynamics in old age. In: R. Fernández-Ballesteros (Ed.), Geropsychology: European perspectives for an ageing world (pp. 224-238). Hogrefe & Huber.

Scheibe, S., Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P. B. (2007). Wisdom, life-longings, and optimal development. In J. A. Blackburn & C. N. Dulmus (Eds.), Handbook of gerontology: Evidence-based approaches to theory, practice, and policy (pp. 117-142). New York: Wiley.

Kunzmann, U. (2006). Wisdom. In R. Schulz (Editor-in-Chief), The encyclopedia of aging (4th edition). New York, NY: Springer.

Kunzmann, U. & Stange, A. (2006). Wisdom as a classical human strength: Psychological conceptualizations and empirical inquiry. In A. D. Ong & M. Van Dulmen (Eds.), Varieties of positive experience: Structure, variability, and change (pp. 306-322). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P. B. (2005). The psychology of wisdom: Theoretical and empirical challenges. In R. J. Sternberg & J. Jordan (Eds.), Handbook of wisdom (pp. 110-135). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Kunzmann, U. & Grühn, D. (2005). Age differences in emotional reactivity: The sample case of sadness. Psychology and Aging, 20, 47-59. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.20.1.47

Kunzmann, U., Kupperbusch, C. S. & Levenson, R. W. (2005). Behavioral inhibition and amplification during emotional arousal: A comparison of two age groups. Psychology and Aging, 20, 144-159. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.20.1.144

Kunzmann, U., Stange, A. & Jordan, J. (2005). Positive emotionality and lifestyle in adulthood: Do you do what you feel? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 574-588. doi: 10.1177/0146167204271586

Salisch, M., von & Kunzmann, U. (2005). Emotionale Entwicklung über die Lebensspanne. In J. Asendorpf (Hrsg.), Bd. 3: Soziale, emotionale und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung, Serie V: Entwicklungspsychologie, Themenbereichs C: Theorie und Forschung, Enzyklopädie der Psychologie (pp. 259-334), Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Staudinger, U. M. & Kunzmann, U. (2005). Positive adult personality development: Adjustment and/or growth? European Psychologist, 10, 320-329. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040.10.4.320

Baltes, P. B. & Kunzmann, U. (2004). Two faces of wisdom: Wisdom as a general theory of knowledge and judgment about excellence in mind and virtue vs. wisdom as everyday realization in people and products. Human Development, 47, 290-299. doi: 10.1159/000079156

Kunzmann, U. (2004). Approaches to a good life: The emotional-motivational side to wisdom. In P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive Psychology in Practice (pp. 504-517). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Li, S.-C. & Kunzmann, U. (2004). Research on intelligence in German speaking countries. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), International handbook of the psychology of human intelligence (pp. 135-169). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Baltes, P. B. & Kunzmann, U. (2003). Wisdom: The peak of human excellence in the orchestration of mind and virtue. The Psychologist, 16, 131-133.

Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P. B. (2003). Beyond the traditional scope of intelligence: Wisdom in action. In R. J. Sternberg, J. Lautry & T. I. Lubart (Eds.), Models of intelligence for the next millennium (pp. 329-343). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

Kunzmann, U. & Baltes, P. B. (2003). Wisdom-related knowledge: Affective, motivational, and interpersonal correlates. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1104-1119. doi: 10.1177/0146167203254506

Baltes, P. B., Glück, J. & Kunzmann, U. (2002). Wisdom: Its structure and function in regulating successful lifespan development. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 372-350). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Kunzmann, U., Little, T. D. & Smith, J. (2002). Perceiving control: A double-edged sword in old. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciencesage. , 57, 484-491. doi: 10.1093/geronb/57.6.P484

Kunzmann, U., Little, T. D. & Smith, J. (2000). Is age-related stability of subjective well-being a paradox? Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence from the Berlin Aging Study. Psychology and Aging, 15, 511-526. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.15.3.511

Smith, J., Fleeson, W., Geiselmann, B., Settersten, R. & Kunzmann, U. (1999). Sources of well-being in very old age. In P. B. Baltes & K. U. Mayer (Eds.), The Berlin Aging Study: Aging from 70 to 100 (pp. 450-471). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

last update: 23.11.2020 

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