Kelly Wolfe

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Psychology Building

7 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


  • BSc Psychology, Leiden University (2015)

  • MSc Research Methods, University of Edinburgh (2017)

  • PhD Psychology, University of Essex (2021)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

I am interested in how healthy ageing affects personality and cognitive processes, such as learning and decision-making.  My past work has focused on whether older adult risk-taking behaviour is due to age-related changes in personality (e.g., risk preference) and/or cognition (e.g., numeracy, working memory, processing speed).  I am currently interested in (and working on) collaborative learning in older age, and whether working with another person can be more beneficial to the learning performance of older adults.  In addition to the above, I am interested in making research as reproducible and transparent as possible and conducting research in accordance with open science principles.  Below are several research topics that I am working on or pursuing.   


  • Collaborative learning in person and remotely in older age

I am currently investigating whether learning with another person can be more beneficial than learning alone, and under what circumstances. As such, we're studying collaborative learning across different settings, including the type of relationship (e.g., familiar versus unfamiliar partner), in-person and remotely, and type of learning task (i.e., label-image association, stories, Smart Home applications). 

  • Adapting medication leaflets to optimize older adults' medication management 
  • Financial decision-making in older age  
  • Older adults' perception of risk  


Recent publications

Buchanan, E.M., Lewis, S.C., Paris, B. et al. (2023). The Psychological Science Accelerator’s COVID-19 rapid-response dataset. Nature Scientific Data, 10, 87 (2023). 

Dorison, C.A., Lerner, J.S., Heller, B.H. et al. (2022). In COVID-19 Health Messaging, Loss Framing Increases Anxiety with Little-to-No Concomitant Benefits: Experimental Evidence from 84 Countries. Affective Science.

Psychological Science Accelerator Self-Determination Theory Collaboration. (2022). A global experiment on motivating social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119 (22).

Wolfe, K., Crompton, C. J., Hoffman, P., & MacPherson, S. E. (2022, January 31). Collaborative learning of new information in older age: a systematic review.

Wolfe, K. , Sirota, M., and Clarke, ADF. (2021). Age differences in COVID-19 risk-taking, and the relationship with risk attitude and numerical ability. Royal Society Open Science, 9 (8).

Wang, K., Goldenberg, A., Dorison, C. et al. (2021). A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Human Behaviour, 5, 1089–1110.

View all 3 publications on Research Explorer