Teen Social Media Studies

We are seeking teens 13 to 17 years old to participate in studies about social media use! The purpose of these studies is to learn more about how social media is associated with teen’s mood and mental health.

The Zoom-based study takes place over a one-hour Zoom session. A legal guardian must attend the first few minutes of the Zoom session, but are free to leave after. Teens are paid $20 for their time and effort!

The multi-method study is open to teens who identify as girls only. It takes places over a 1.5 to 2-hour in-person session on the WashU main campus. A legal guardian must attend with their teen to answer survey questions about themselves and their teen. After the in-person session, teens answer brief survey questions on their phones during the day (outside of school hours) for one week. Teens can earn up to $96, and guardians earn $25, for completing the multi-method study!

Parents and guardians, take the eligibility survey here, if you have a teen who may be interested!

Email: teenmedia@wustl.edu

Phone: (314) 828-1535


Healthy aging is associated with a striking paradox: As adults age, they typically have better control over their emotions while also simultaneously experiencing decline in cognitive functions and brain systems that have been associated with managing emotions. This study will investigate the brain basis of emotion regulation in middle- and older-age adults, and how a history of depression might impact these typical trajectory of age-related improvements.

Collaborators include Drs. Tammy English and Todd Braver from Washington University in St. Louis.

Social Media, Appraisals, Interoception, Goals & Emotion Study (SAIGE)

The SAIGE study investigates adult’s everyday emotional experiences and aims to highlight how people’s personalities, goal pursuit, thinking styles, and social media use are related to their emotional experiences (and vice versa). The study is composed of online surveys, ecological momentary assessments through daily phone surveys, and an in-person lab session.

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.

Social Media Use and Emotion Study

Social media has become ubiquitous in the everyday lives of millions. Despite the widespread use of social media platforms across the globe, little is known regarding how individuals use these platforms, nor do we understand how specific social media activities impact emotion. In the current study, we aim to a) develop a social media use measure that encapsulates all of the activities in which individuals can engage on social media, b) determine which of these groups of activities are associated with the experiences of positive versus negative emotions, and c) determine how mood at the time of social media use influences how individuals use and perceive social media (i.e., what activities they engage in and how these activities make them feel). Further, we recently explored the role of social media on social and emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic!

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.

Publications from this collaboration:

Crawford. J. L., Yee, D. M., *Hallenbeck, H. W., Naumann, A., Shaprio, K., Thompson, R. J., & Braver, T. S. (2020). Dissociable effects of momentary monetary, liquid, and social incentives on motivation and cognitive control. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 2212. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.0

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.

Publications from the collaboration:

*Bailen, N. H., Strube, M., Koval, P., Haslam, N., & Thompson, R. J. (2020). Negative emotion and non-acceptance of emotion in daily life. Emotion. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000898

Koval, P., Holland, E., Zyphur, M., Stratemeyer, M., *Bailen, N. H., Thompson, R. J., Roberts, T., & Haslam, N. (2019). How does it feel to be treated like an object? Direct and indirect effects of exposure to sexual objectification on women’s emotions in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116, 885-898. https://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000161 pdf