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Nilam Ram
Nilam Ram
Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, and Psychology
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
  • Graduate Program
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  • B.A., 1992, Economics, Columbia University
  • M.S., 2000, Kinesiology, University of Colorado
  • Ph.D., 2006, Psychology, University of Virginia
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Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
407 BBH Building
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Professional Experience

2012- Present, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University.

2006-2012, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University.

2011-Present, Research Professor, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin, Germany

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

Grants and Research Projects

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.

  • Ram, N. & Diehl, M. (in press). Multiple time-scale design and analysis: Pushing towards real-time modeling of complex developmental processes. In M. Diehl, K. Hooker, & M. Sliwinski (Eds). Handbook of intraindividual variability across the lifespan (pp. xx-xx). NY: Routledge.

  • Ram, N., Gatzke-Kopp, L., Gerstorf, D., Coccia, M., *Morack, J., & Molenaar, P. C. M. (in press). Intraindividual variability across the life span: Moving towards a computational developmental science. In M. Diehl, K. Hooker, & M. Sliwinski (Eds). Handbook of intraindividual variability across the lifespan (pp. xx-xx). NY: Routledge.

  • Ram, N., & Grimm, K. (in press). Growth curve modeling and longitudinal factor analysis. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Ed.), W. Overton & P. C. M. Molenaar (Vol. Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

  • Ram, N., Conroy, D., Pincus, A. L., Lorek, A., Rebar, A. H., Roche, M. J., Morack, J., Coccia, M., Feldman, J., & Gerstorf, D. (2014). Examining the interplay of processes across multiple time-scales: Illustration with the Intraindividual Study of Affect, Health, and Interpersonal Behavior (iSAHIB). Research in Human Development, 11, 142-160.

  • Ram, N., Shiyko, M.P., Lunkenheimer, E.S., Doerksen, S., & Conroy, D. (2014). Families as coordinated symbiotic systems: Making use of nonlinear dynamic models. In S. McHale, P. Amato, & A. Booth (Eds.), Emerging methods in family research (pp. 19-37). New York, NY: Springer.

  • Shiyko, M., & Ram, N. (2011). Conceptualizing and estimating process speed in studies employing ecological momentary assessment designs: A multilevel variance decomposition approach. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 46, 875-899.

  • 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). Nonlinear growth models in Mplus & SAS. Structural Equation Modeling, 16, 676-701.

  • 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.

  • Nesselroade, J. R., & Ram, N. (2004). Studying intraindividual variability: What we have learned that will help us understand lives in context. Research in Human Development, 1, 9-29.

Additional Information

Changes in the psychological processes of emotion, personality, and cognition, how they develop over the course of the lifespan, and how intraindividual change and variability study designs can contribute to our understanding of human behavior.