Nilam Ram, Ph.D. - Associate

Assistant Professor

119-A Henderson Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park PA 16802

814-865-7038 (fax-814-863-7963)

Bio Statement

My current research interests have grown out of a history of studying change. After my undergraduate study of economics I was lucky enough to land a job as a currency trader. There I studied the movement of world markets as they jerked up, down and sideways. Later I moved on to the study of human movement, kinesiology, and eventually psychological processes - with a specialization in longitudinal research methodology. Generally I study how short-term changes (e.g., processes such as learning, information processing, etc.) develop over the course of the lifespan and how intraindividual change and variability study designs (e.g., measurement bursts) might contribute to our knowledge base. Current projects include examinations of: age differences in short-term dynamics at the cognitive/affective/temperament interface; cyclic patterns in the day-to-day progression of emotions; and change in cognition and well-being over the lifespan, particularly in the oldest old. Methodologically, I am also working to develop a variety of multi-person extensions of intraindividual analytic methods and investigating how we can maintain a focus on the individual while still tackling issues of aggregation and generalizability.

Select Publications

Grimm, K., J., Ram, N., & Hamagami, F. (in press). Nonlinear growth curves in developmental research. Child Development.

Ram, N., Gerstorf, D., Smith, J., & Lindenberger, U. (in press). Developmental change and intraindividual variability: Relating cognitive aging to cognitive plasticity, cardiovascular lability, and emotional diversity. Psychology and Aging.

Gerstorf, D., Ram, N., Goebel, J., Schupp, J., Lindenberger, U., & Wagner, G. G. (2010). Where people live and die makes a difference: Individual and geographic disparities in well-being progression at the end of life. Psychology and Aging. 25, 661-676.

Ram, N., Gerstorf, D., Fauth, E., Zarit, S., & Malmberg, B. (2010). Aging, disablement, and dying: Using time-as-process and time-as-resources metrics to chart late-life change. Research in Human Development, 7, 27-44.

Grimm, K., & Ram, N. (2009). A second order growth mixture model for the study of development. Research in Human Development, 6, 121-143.

Grimm, K., & Ram, N. (2009). Nonlinear growth models in Mplus & SAS. Structural Equation Modeling, 16, 676-701.

Ram, N., Lindenberger, U., & Blanchard-Fields, F. (2009). Introduction to the special issue on intraindividual variability and aging. Psychology and Aging, 24, 775-777.

Ram, N., & Grimm, K. (2009). Growth mixture modeling: A method for identifying differences in longitudinal change among unobserved groups. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 33, 565-576.

Ram, N. & Gerstorf, D. (2009). Methods for the study of development – Developing methods. Research in Human Development, 6, 61-73.

Ram, N. & Gerstorf, D. (2009). Time structured and net intraindividual variability: Tools for examining the development of dynamic characteristics and processes. Psychology and Aging, 24, 778-791.

Professional Experience

2006-Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University.

2007, Visiting Scientist, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany

2002-2006, Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.


B.A., 1992, Economics, Columbia University
M.S., 2000, Kinesiology, University of Colorado
Ph.D., 2006, Psychology, University of Virginia