Thomas M. Hess

Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator

Department of Psychology

Campus Box 7650

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, NC 27695-7650

Lab Phone: (919) 515-9063

Office Phone: (919)515-1729

Fax: (919) 515-1716


Vitae [
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  • B.S., The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A., Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center

Selected Recent Publications

  • Hess, T.M., & Smith, B.T. (in press). Linkages between age-related changes in the costs of cognitive engagement, motivation, and behavior. To appear in T. Braver (ed.), Motivation and cognitive control. New York: Psychology Press.
  • Smith, B.T. & Hess, T.M. (2015). The impact of motivation and task difficulty on resource engagement: differential influences on cardiovascular responses of young and older adults. Motivation Science, 1, 22-36.
  • Kistler, C.E., Hess, T.M., Howard, K., Pignone, M., Cruthfield, T.M., Hawley, S.T., Brenner, A.T., Ward, K., & Lewis, C.L. (2015). Older adults' preferences for colorectal cancer screening test attributes and test choice. Patient Preference and Adherence, 9, 1005-1016.
  • Hess, T.M. (2015). A prospect theory-based evaluation of dual-process influences on aging and decision making: Support for a contextual perspective. In T.M. Hess, J. Strough, & C.E. Loeckenhoff (Eds.). Aging and decision making: Empirical and applied perspectives (pp. 189-212). New York: Elsevier.
  • Popham, L.E., & Hess, T.M. (2015). Age differences in the underlying mechanisms of stereotype threat effects. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 70, 225-234.
  • Hess, T.M. (2014). Selective engagement of cognitive resources: Motivational Influences on older adults’ cognitive functioning. Perspectives on Psychological Science.
  • Hess, T.M., & Smith, B.T. (2014). Aging and the impact of ability and irrelevant information on social judgements. Psychology and Aging, 29, 542-553.
  • Hess, T.M., & Ennis, G.E. (2014). Assessment of adult age differences in task engagement: The utility of systolic blood pressure. Motivation and Emotion, 38, 844-854.
  • Braver TS, Krug MK, Chiew KS, Kool W, Westbrook JA, Clement NJ, Adcock RA, Barch DM, Botvinick MM, Carver CS, Cools R, Custers R, Dickinson A, Dweck CS, Fishbach A, Gollwitzer PM, Hess TM, Isaacowitz DM, Mather M, Murayama K, Pessoa L, Samanez-Larkin GR, Somerville LH; for the MOMCAI group. (2014). Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: challenges and opportunities. Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14, 443-472.
  • Hess, T.M., & Queen, T.L. (2014). Aging influences on judgment and decision processes: Interactions between ability and experience. In P. Verhaeghen & C. Hertzog (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of emotion, social cognition, and problem solving in adulthood (pp. 238-255). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hess, T.M., Queen, T.L., & Ennis, G.E. (2013). Age and self-relevance effects on information search during decision making. . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 68, 703–711. PMID: 23197342
  • Hess, T.M., Popham, L.E., Dennis, P.A., & Emery, L. (2013). Information content moderates positivity and negativity biases in memory. Psychology and Aging. 28, 853–863.
  • Ennis, G.E., Hess, T.M., & Smith, B.T. (2013). The Impact of age and motivation on cognitive effort: Implications for cognitive engagement in older adulthood. Psychology and Aging. 28, 495–504. PMID: 23421325
  • Hess, T.M., Queen, T.L., & Patterson, T. (2012). To deliberate or not to deliberate: Interactions between age, task characteristics, and cognitive activity on decision making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25, 29–40. doi: 10.1002/bdm.711
  • Hess, T.M., Popham, L.E., Emery, L., & Elliott, T. (2012). Mood, motivation, and misinformation: Aging and affective state influences on memory. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19, 13-34. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2011.622740
  • Hess, T.M., Emery, L., & Neupert, S.D. (2012). Longitudinal relationships between resources, motivation, and functioning. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67, 299–308. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr100.
  • Hess, T.M., & Ennis, G.E. (2012). Age differences in the effort and cost associated with cognitive activity. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67, 447-455. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr129
  • Kotter-Grühn, D., & Hess, T.M. (2012). Contrast or assimilation effect? The impact of age stereotypes on self-perceptions of aging in young, middle-aged, and older adults. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 67B , 563-571. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbr153
  • Hess, T.M., & Emery, L. (2012). Memory in context: The impact of age-related goals on performance. In M. Naveh-Benjamin & N. Ohta (Eds.), Perspectives on memory and aging (pp. 183 – 214). New York: Psychology Press.
  • Kotter-Grühn, D., & Hess, T.M. (2012). So you think you look young? Matching older adults’ subjective ages with age estimations provided by younger, middle-aged, and older adults. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 36, 468-475.
  • Queen, T.L., Hess, T.M., Ennis G.E., Dowd, K., & Grühn, D. (2012). Information search and decision making: Effects of age and complexity on strategy use. Psychology and Aging, 27, 817-814. PMID: 22663157
  • Emery, L., Hess, T.M., & Elliott, T. (2012). The Illusion of the Positive: The impact of natural and induced mood on older adults’ false recall. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19 , 677-698. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2011.645012
  • Emery, L., & Hess, T.M. (2011). Cognitive consequences of expressive regulation in older adults. Psychology and Aging, 26 , 388-396. doi: 10.1037/a0020041.
  • Hess, T.M., & Kotter-Grühn, D. (2011). Social knowledge and goal-based influences on social information processing in adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 26 , 792-802. doi: 10.1037/a0023775.
  • Queen, T.L., & Hess, T.M. (2010). Age differences in the effects of conscious and unconscious thought in decision-making. Psychology and Aging, 25, 251-261.
  • Hess, T.M., Beale, K.S., & Miles, A. (2010). The impact of experienced emotion on evaluative judgments: the moderating effects of age and emotion regulation style. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 17 , 648-672.