Emotion and Decision Making Study

The overarching goal of this study is to learn more about people’s everyday emotional experiences. We use an ecological momentary assessment to survey participants are five times a day for two weeks at random intervals. We also study how people manage or impact their emotions, including how they think about their emotions and whether they share them with other people. Finally, we look at how emotions can influence other common experiences like how people make decisions in their everyday lives. 

Collaborators include Drs. Tammy English and Kirsten Gilbert from Washington University in St. Louis.

Motivation and Reward Study

People with depression often find themselves less motivated to pursue rewards. However, it is not clear whether this decrease in motivation is true for all types of rewards, or whether it is true only for certain types of rewards, which could be an important consideration in the treatment of depression. In this laboratory study involving a community sample, we are comparing motivation for three types of rewards–monetary, liquid, and social–and seeing how it is linked to depressive symptoms.
Collaborators include Todd Braver from Washington University in St. Louis.

Emotion and Couples Study

We all experience negative events in our lives, and these events can evoke a variety of negative emotions. In the face of these events, we often turn others for support. For married people, the spouse is often an important source of support. Thus, in this research project, we aim to better understanding how romantic partners communicate about various emotional experiences. We hope that the knowledge gained from this project can benefit the advancement of couple therapy and counseling.

Sexual Objectification and Eating Disorders Study

The sexual objectification of women is extremely common and is associated with a variety of mental health issues, including disordered eating and depression. In this experience sampling study, we examine how sexual objectification and negative emotions such as shame, guilt, and embarrassment are associated with psychopathological outcomes—specifically eating disorder symptoms and depressive symptoms—in a sample of young adult women.

Collaborators include Nick HaslamPete Koval, and Elise Holland from University of Melbourne.