Most psychologists recognize that emotions are necessary for survival. Our lab is interested in understanding how emotional states impact the way people understand and interact with their worlds. Specifically, we are investigating the ways emotions help guide behavior and interpret information.
Resolving ambiguity: Most social interactions have some degree of ambiguity. The way that individuals typically resolve that ambiguity is a key factor in whether they have positive or negative social relationships.
We use an interpretation bias paradigm to understand whether approach tendency emotions (i.e. angry and happy) result in different affective interpretations of social situations.
We examine whether emotion regulation can reverse any bias that exists.
We compare individuals with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (a disorder known to result in emotional and social difficulties) on this paradigm
Affective responses to victimization: A number of factors influence how people respond to victimization of others. We are interested in people's affective responses to victimization as well as understanding how they regulate those responses.
We will use functional MRI to investigate neural differences in those responses
Emotion regulation and post-traumatic stress: It is well known that individuals with posttraumatic stress may also have difficulties with emotion regulation. We are interested in determining how this dysregulation occurs