My interview with the BBC “MIndchangers” program is now available over the web. My 1976 study with Judith Rodin was the topic:
When the two psychologists set up the experiment so that residents on two floors of the 360-bed home for the elderly would experience some changes in their everyday life, they had no idea that they were introducing factors which could prolong life. bq.While residents on both floors were given plants and film shows, only those on the fourth floor had the opportunity to control these events: choosing the plant and looking after it themselves, and choosing which night of the week to view the film. bq.Eighteen months later, when Langer and Rodin returned to the home, they were astonished to discover that twice as many of the elderly residents in this ‘choices’ group were alive, compared with the control group on the second floor, who had been given plants that the staff tended, and were told which was their film night. It appeared that taking control made you live longer.
You can listen to it here.