David Weiss, PhD

Contact information
[email protected]


Heisenberg position of the German Research Foundation, University of Leipzig, Department of Psychology, Department of Life-Span Developmental Psychology

David Weiss studies how people deal with aging-related changes, negative age stereotypes, and the gain and loss of social status across the lifespan. His studies include experimental, longitudinal, and cross-cultural methods to examine how motivational and social-cognitive factors affect physiological and psychological well-being. In particular, he is interested in self-regulatory processes to explain how individuals flexibly adapt to aging-related challenges. He has published in leading academic journals, including Psychology and Aging, Developmental Psychology, Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. In addition, his research has been featured in media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, PBS Next Avenue and USA Today. For his research, he has received the Karl-Giehrl Award for distinguished dissertations, the Vontobel Award for Research on Age(ing), and the Calderone Award for Junior Faculty. He received his PhD in 2009 from the Friedrich-Alexander University and has taught between 2009 and 2014 at the University of Zurich.


Education & Training:
PhD, 2009, Friedrich-Alexander University
MSc, 2005, University of Kiel and Australian National University


Honors and Awards:
Mailman School of Public Health Dean’s Initiative Pilot Award (2015)
Calderone Award for Junior Faculty (2014)
Vontobel Award for Research on Age(ing) (2011)
Karl-Giehrl Award for Outstanding PhD-Thesis (2010)


Selected Publications:
Robertson, D, & Weiss, D. (2017). In the eye of the beholder: Can counter-stereotypes change perceptions of older adults' social status? Psychology and Aging, 32(6), 531-542. doi.org/10.1037/pag0000186
Weiss, D. (2016). On the inevitability of aging: Essentialist beliefs moderate the impact of negative age stereotypes on older adults' memory performance and physiological reactivity. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbw087
Weiss, D., & Weiss, M. (2016). The interplay of subjective social status and essentialist beliefs about aging on cortisol responses to challenge in older adults. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12667
Weiss, D., Job, V., Mathias, M., Grah, S., & Freund A.M. (2016). The end is (not) near: Aging, essentialism, and future time perspective. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/dev0000115
Weiss, D., Sczesny, S., & Freund, A.M. (2016). Wanting to get more or protecting one’s assets: age-differential effects of gain versus loss perceptions on the willingness to engage in collective action. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 2, 254-264. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbu098
Weiss, D. (2014). What will remain when we are gone? Finitude and generation identity in the second half of life. Psychology and Aging, 29, 554-562. doi: 10.1037/a0036728
Weiss, D., Sassenberg, K., & Freund, A. M. (2013). When feeling different pays off: How older adults can counteract negative age-related information. Psychology and Aging, 28. 1140-6. doi: 10.1037/a0033811
Weiss, D., Freund, A. M., & Wiese, B. S. (2012). Mastering developmental transitions in young and middle adulthood: The interplay of openness to experience and traditional gender ideology on women's self-efficacy and well-being. Developmental Psychology, 48, 1774-84.


For more information, please see his University of Leipzig page.