Attendees     ---     Program


Yasmin Abbaszadeh, Northeastern University

Hello, all! I am a graduate of U.C. Berkeley where I worked in Dacher Keltner's Lab on studies of socioeconomic status, inequality, and positive emotions. Most recently, I have had the pleasure of working in David Desteno's Lab on how a history of past life adversity may foster personal growth and positive emotional outcomes. 

Keywords: prosocial behavior, positive emotion, empathy, creativity, power, socioeconomic status, uncertainty


K. Carrie Adair, Associate in Research, Duke University Healthcare System

Carrie Adair is an applied social psychologist researching resilience and burnout. Carrie is particularly interested in the role of various positive emotions, elicited through simple tools, to help treat and prevent burnout in healthcare workers.

Keywords: resilience, emotion regulation, mindfulness, social connection, burnout


Tayler Bergstrom, Undergraduate Research Assistant, UC San Diego

Tayler is a third year undergraduate honors student in sunny San Diego. She is interested in studying positive emotions with plans to attend graduate school to pursue a PhD in the field. 

Keywords: positive emotion, power, creativity, emotion regulation, marketing


Brad Bitterly, Doctoral Student, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Brad Bitterly is a fourth year doctoral student in Operations, Information and Decisions at Wharton. His research focuses on how humor influences interpersonal perception and behavior. 

Keywords: humor, status, impression management, and trust 




Kuan-Hua Chen, Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley

Kuan studies temporal dynamic of emotions in healthy aging adults and patients with age-related neurological disorders.

Keywords: emotion, psychophysiology, aging and age-related neurological disorders

Chen, K.-H., Okerstrom, K., Kingyon J., Anderson, S. W., Cavanagh, J., & Narayanan, N. S. (2016). Startle habituation and mid-frontal theta activity in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 28, 1923-1932.

Chen, K.-H., Aksan N., Anderson S. W., Grafft A., and Chapleau M. W. (2014). Habituation of parasympathetic-mediated heart rate responses to recurring acoustic startle. Frontiers in Psychology: Psychology for Clinical Settings. 5:1288. 


Melody Chen, Honors student, UC San Diego

Hello, my name is Melody Chen and I'm a fourth year undergraduate
honors student at UC San Diego! I am interested in prosocial behavior and
how its expression may affect those with clinical disorders. My future
plan is to attend graduate/PhD school in the areas of positive emotion and
emotion/mood disorders.

Keywords: prosocial behavior, positive emotion, emotion regulation,
clinical disorders, personality, leadership


Elaine Cheung, Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University

Elaine is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medical Social Sciences at Northwestern University. Elaine’s research interests primarily focus on the social regulation of emotion and its consequences for health and well-being. Elaine’s current research focuses on the adaptive role of positive emotion during chronic stress and the development of emotion-regulation interventions for helping people cope with the diagnosis of a chronic illness (e.g., cancer, HIV).

Keywords: emotion regulation, health, well-being, close relationships


Joel Davies, PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales

Joel is investigating the antecedents and functions of vicarious pride, that is, pride felt on behalf of another. He also works in management consulting where he is passionate about applying psychological research to help solve real-world problems. 


Katy DeLong, Graduate student, West Virginia University

Katy DeLong is a graduate student at West Virginia University finishing her Master's degree in Lifespan Developmental Psychology. She is working with Dr. Amy Gentzler on her thesis which studies the interaction of high-intensity pleasure and self-regulation to predict adolescent outcomes. 

Keywords: self-regulation, emotion regulation, social-emotional learning, development, child and adolescent outcomes


Leah Dickens, Visiting Assistant Professor, Bowdoin College

I have a PhD in Social Psychology from Northeastern University and study the social functions of emotions. My work centers on gratitude and pride, and how they each can be beneficial to the self and relationships.

Keywords: gratitude, pride, social functions of emotions, nonverbal behavior, social perception


Patrick Dwyer, Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC Chapel Hill

Patrick’s research focuses on motivation, emotion, and social action. The main focus of his current work is on the role of expressed gratitude in motivating social action and promoting well-being. He has a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Keywords: gratitude, motivation, emotion, social action, well-being





Nancy S. Fagley, Associate Professor, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, GSAPP

Nancy’s research focuses on appreciation—including its definition and measurement, its causes and consequences (especially for wellbeing), and identifying the mechanisms through which it affects wellbeing. Further, she is developing and evaluating techniques or activities that target different aspects of appreciation as ways to foster wellbeing.

Keywords:  appreciation, gratitude, “have” focus, awe, present moment

Fagley, N. S. (2016). The Construct of Appreciation: It Is So Much More Than Gratitude. In D. Carr (Ed.), Perspectives on Gratitude: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Routledge. ISBN-13: 978-1138830936.

Fagley, N. S. (2012). Appreciation uniquely predicts life satisfaction above demographics, the Big 5 personality factors, and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 59-63.      

Fagley, N. S., & Adler, M. G. (2012). Appreciation: A Spiritual Path to Finding Value and Meaning in the Workplace. Invited paper, Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, 9, 167-187.

Adler, M. G., & Fagley, N. S.  (2005). Appreciation: Individual differences in finding value and meaning as a unique predictor    of subjective wellbeing.  Journal of Personality, 73: 1, 79-114.


Brett Ford, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto

Brett’s research examines the basic science and health implications of how individuals think about and manage their emotions. In particular, she uses multi-method and interdisciplinary approaches — including experiential, behavioural, and physiological assessments — to examine the cultural, biological, and psychological factors that shape emotion beliefs and regulation strategies, as well as the implications of these beliefs and strategies for health and well-being.

Keywords: Emotion, emotion regulation, health and well-being

Ford, B. Q., Karnilowicz, H. R., & Mauss, I. B. (in press). Understanding reappraisal as a multi-component process: The psychological health benefits of attempting to use reappraisal depend on reappraisal success. Emotion.

Ford, B. Q., Dmitrieva, J. O., Heller, D., Chentsova-Dutton, Y., Grossmann, I., Tamir, M., Uchida, Y., Koopmann-Holm, B., Uhrig, M., Floerke, V., Bokhan, T., & Mauss, I. B. (2015). Culture shapes whether the pursuit of happiness predicts higher or lower well-being.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General144, 1053-1062.


Brendan Gaesser, Assistant Professor, SUNY Albany Department of Psychology

Brendan investigates the social functions of—and cognitive mechanisms underlying—imagination, memory, and future thinking. He is particularly interested in elucidating how imagining the future and remembering the past can facilitate social decision-making and economic behavior directed at benefiting the welfare of others.

Keywords: episodic simulation, memory, morality, prosocial behavior

Gaesser, B., Dobbs, H., & Schacter, D. L. (in press). Effects of aging on the relation between episodic simulation and prosocial intentions. Memory.

Gaesser, B., DiBiase, H. D., & Kensinger, E. A. (2016). A role for affect in the link between episodic simulation and prosociality. Memory, 1-11.

Gaesser, B., & Schacter, D. L. (2014). Episodic simulation and episodic memory can increase intentions to help others. Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences, USA, 111, 4415-4420.

Gentzler Amy.jpg

Amy Gentzler, Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, West Virginia University

Amy studies positive affect regulation, often how it develops in children and adolescents and potential implications for adjustment or well-being. 

Keywords: emotion regulation, happiness, development, emotion socialization

Gentzler, A. L., Palmer, C. A., & Ramsey, M. A. (2016). Savoring with intent: Investigating types of and motives for responses to positive events. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(3), 937-958.

Gentzler, A. L., Ramsey, M. A., & Black, K. R. (2015).  Mothers’ attachment styles, and their children’s self-reported security, as related to maternal socialization of children’s positive affect regulation.  Attachment and Human Development, 17(4), 376-398. 


Amie M. Gordon, Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSF

Amie studies the role of prosocial cognitions, emotions, and behaviors in the maintenance of close relationships, as well as the factors that inhibit prosociality between partners. She is also interested in the dyadic nature of close relationships, uncovering the ways in which partners knowingly and unknowingly influence each other.

Keywords: Close relationships; Prosociality; Sleep; Gratitude; Perspective-taking

Gordon, A. M. & Chen, S. (2015). Do you get where I’m coming from?: Perceived understanding buffers against reduced relationship satisfaction after conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 239-260.

Gordon, A. M. & Chen, S. (2014). The role of sleep in interpersonal conflict: Do sleepless nights mean worse fights? Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 168-175.

Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2012). To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in intimate bonds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103, 257-274.

Yumeng Rainy Gu, Graduate student, UC San Diego Rady School of Management

I am a graduate student of Christopher Oveis at UC San Diego, Rady School of Management. I am interested in understanding the mechanism of emotions, especially positive emotions, and their influence on social behavior in the workplace.

Keywords: gratitude, emotion, workplace



Claudia Haase, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

Claudia studies human development across the life span with a focus on emotion and motivation (i.e., sources, consequences, developmental trajectories). Her research uses multiple methods (e.g., physiological measures, behavioral observations, rating dials, genotyping) and multiple study designs (e.g., laboratory-based assessments of individuals and couples, large-scale longitudinal surveys).  

Keywords: life-span development, emotion, motivation, relationships, psychophysiology

Haase, C. M., Holley, S., Bloch, L., Verstaen, A., & Levenson, R. W. (2016). Interpersonal emotional behaviors and physical health: A 20-year longitudinal study of long-term married couples. Emotion, 16, 965-977. 

Haase, C. M., Beermann, U., Saslow, L. R., Shiota, M. N., Saturn, S. R., Lwi, S. J., Casey, J. J., Nguyen, N. K., Whalen, P. K., Keltner, D., & Levenson, R. W. (2015). Short alleles, bigger smiles? The effect of 5-HTTLPR on positive emotional expressions. Emotion, 15, 438-448.


Holly Howe, Incoming PhD Student, Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Holly is beginning a PhD in Marketing in Fall 2017. Her research interests include mental and physical health, self-conscious emotion, and positive emotions --- with much of her work intersecting of these topics. 

Keywords: emotion, wellbeing, health, physical activity


Alice Hua, Doctoral Student, University of California, Berkeley

Alice studies how neurodegeneration in frontotemporal dementia gives rise to changes in emotional reactivity (physiology, facial behavior, subjective experience) to further illuminate brain-behavior relationships for emotion. Alice is also interested in how patient changes in emotional reactivity impact spousal caregiver mental health. 

Keywords: affective neuroscience; emotional reactivity; frontotemporal dementia


Ian Kahrilas, Clinical Psychology Graduate Student, Loyola University Chicago

Ian is a clinical psychology graduate student at Loyola University Chicago. He works with Dr. Rebecca Silton in the Well-Being and Emotion Lab.

Keywords: Positive emotion regulation, mindfulness, electroencephalography


Elise Kalokerinos, Postdoctoral Fellow, KU Leuven, Belgium

I'm a postdoc at KU Leuven in Belgium, and my research primarily centers on emotion regulation and expression. I use experience sampling and lab methods to investigate how factors like context, timing, and goals can shape which strategies people choose to regulate their emotions, and how successful those strategies are both in the short term (in changing emotions) and in the long term (in shaping psychological well-being and maladjustment).

Keywords: emotion regulation, emotion expression, experience sampling methods


Kimberly Livingstone, Research Scientist, Northeastern University

My research focuses on individual differences in emotion regulation--the beliefs that people hold about emotions and emotion regulation, the strategies people choose to use, and what works for them in promoting well-being. I received my PhD in social-personailty psychology from the University of Oregon and am currently a research scientist studying aging and emotion regulation at Northeastern University. 

Keywords: emotion regulation, lifespan development, personality, well-being


maroney faculty photo.jpg

Terry Maroney, Professor of Law, Professor of Medicine, Health and Society, Vanderbilt University

Terry Maroney’s research focuses primarily on the role of emotion in law. Her scholarship on judges’ emotions—including “Angry Judges,” “Emotional Regulation and Judicial Behavior” and “The Persistent Cultural Script of Judicial Dispassion”—has been widely read by both judges and scholars of judicial behavior. Professor Maroney works closely with the Federal Judicial Center, both offering regular emotion-regulation workshops for newly-appointed federal judges and co-directing the annual Mid-Career Seminar for U.S. District Judges, an innovative program she developed with Judge Jeremy Fogel, who directs the FJC. She has worked on issues of emotion and its regulation with state court judges as well, in jurisdictions ranging from Alaska to Florida, and frequently lectures on these topics internationally.


Jared Martin, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin Madison

Jared is a graduate student in Social Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He studies the psychological and biological underpinnings of human social communication, specifically in the areas of facial expression and autonomic physiology.

Keywords: facial expression, smiles, autonomic physiology, endocrinology



Herb Meiselman, Sensory and Consumer Scientist, Herb Meiselman Training

Herb Meiselman is a sensory and consumer scientist who works with emotion measurement applied to products (mainly foods and beverages). He has published papers on applied emotion measurement, and edited a recent volume on Emotion Measurement (2016), combining both academic and applied methods and issues in emotion research.

Keywords: emotion measurement, emotion questionnaires, positive/negative emotions, applications


Karena M. Moran, Graduate Teaching Assistant, West Virginia University

Karena is a doctoral candidate in her third year of the Life-Span Developmental Psychology program at West Virginia University. She is currently working with Dr. Amy Gentzler on her dissertation which will examine the associations between emotion socialization and outcomes in emerging adults.

Keywords: emotion regulation, emotion socialization, life-span development, well-being


Keely Muscatell, Assistant Professor, UNC Chapel Hill Department of Psychology

Keely studies how social experiences impact health and well-being, focusing on neural and immunological pathways. While most of her work focuses on the negative side of social life (social stress, subordination, discrimination), she’s excited to (finally) be exploring the positive as well!


Keywords: SES, inflammation, neuroimaging, social stress, social support


Khoa D. Le Nguyen, PhD Student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Khoa is a second-year graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Khoa is particularly interested in how various positive emotions and their regulations contribute to physical, psychological, and social wellbeing.

Keywords: Positive emotion, Emotion regulation, Wellbeing


Michael Norton, Professor, Harvard Business School

Michael Norton is a professor at Harvard Business School and the co-author – with Elizabeth Dunn – of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.

Keywords: inequality, well-being, prosocial behavior, rituals


Christopher Oveis, Assistant Professor, UCSD Rady School of Management

Chris studies how emotions influence social interactions by gathering rich measures of emotion across multiple response channels, including autonomic physiology and nonverbal behavior.

Keywords: compassion, empathy, gratitude, laughter, emotion regulation

Lupoli, M. J., Jampol, L., & Oveis, C. (in press). Lying because we care: Compassion increases prosocial lying. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

Oveis, C., Spectre, A., Smith, P. K., Liu, M. Y., & Keltner, D. (2016). Laughter conveys status. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 65, 109-115.  


BoKyung Park, Graduate Student, Stanford University

BoKyung uses fMRI approaches to investigate how people perceive others with shared and non-shared affective values and group memberships, and the consequential behavior towards others.

Keywords: ideal affect, prosociality, culture, social and affective neuroscience, cultural neuroscience

Park, B., Blevins, E., Knutson, B., & Tsai, J. (in press). Neurocultural evidence that ideal affect match promotes giving. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Park, B., Tsai, J. L., Chim, L., Blevins, E., & Knutson, B. (2016). Neural evidence for cultural differences in the valuation of positive facial expressions. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(2), 243-252.

Sarah Sass.jpg

Sarah Sass, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Tyler, Department of Psychology and Counseling

Sarah’s research interests involve mechanisms and treatment of internalizing disorders such as anxiety and depression. This interest has guided involvement in mental health treatment and wellbeing research, employing psychophysiological (including EEG, ERP, heart rate, skin conductance) as well as self-report and behavioral methods.

Keywords: anxiety, attention bias modification, emotion, event-related brain potentials, mindfulness

Sass, S.M., Evans, T.C., Xiong, K., Mirghassemi, F., Tea, R., & Tran, H. (2017). Attention training to pleasant stimuli in anxiety. Biological Psychology, 122, 80-92.

Sass, S.M., Berenbaum, H., & Abrams, E.M. (2013). Discomfort with emotion moderates distress reduction in a brief mindfulness intervention. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 7, 24-27. 


Suzanne Shdo, Research Analyst, UCSF Memory and Aging Center

Suzie studies psychopathology and emotion in patients with neurodegenerative diseases to better understand brain-behavior relationships underlying emotional dysfunction. Her current work aims to elucidate neural circuitry associated with depressive symptoms, excessive worry, and dysfunctional positive emotion. 

Keywords: affective neuroscience; neuropsychiatry; emotion regulation; positive emotion

Shdo, S. M., Gola, K. A., Ranasinghe, You, C., Foley, J.M., Rosen, H. J.  Miller, B. L., Kramer, J.H & Rankin, K. P. Depressive Symptom Profiles Predict Specific Neurodegenerative Disease Syndromes in Early Stages. (Submitted).

Shdo, S. M., Ranasinghe, K. G., Gola, K. A., Mielke, C. J., Sukhanov, P. V., Miller, B. L., & Rankin, K. P. (2017). Deconstructing empathy: Neuroanatomical dissociations between affect sharing and prosocial motivation using a patient lesion model. Neuropsychologia.

Goodkind, M. S., Sturm, V. E., Ascher, E. A., Shdo, S. M., Miller, B. L., Rankin, K. P., & Levenson, R. W. (2015). Emotion recognition in frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: A new film-based assessment.


Jennifer Stellar, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Department of Psychology

Dr. Stellar focuses on how emotions support: (1) group functioning by encouraging prosociality and morality as well as (2) individual functioning by improving well-being and physical health. 

Keywords: Prosocial Emotions, Altruism, Morality, Well-being, Health


Katie Vizy, Graduate student, West Virginia University

My name is Katie Vizy and I am a graduate student at West Virginia University studying the socializtion of positive emotions in children and the outcomes associated with it, social skills in particular. My current research focuses on examining effective ways for parents to socialize and cultivate gratitude in their young children.

Keywords: gratitude, positve emotions, emotion socializtion, prosocial behavior, children and adolescents 


Aaron C. Weidman, Ph.D. Candidate, University of British Columbia

Aaron studies the content, structure, and function of distinct positive emotions. He is particularly interested in using bottom-up, empirically driven methodologies to delineate the boundaries between different emotions, and to develop tools with which to measure these states.

Keywords: content; structure; function; measurement; factor analysis; machine learning

Weidman, A. C., Cheng, J. T., & Tracy, J. L. (in press). The psychological structure of humility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Weidman, A. C., Steckler, C. M., & Tracy, J. L. (2017). The jingle and jangle of emotion assessment: Imprecise measurement, casual scale usage, and conceptual fuzziness in emotion research. Emotion17, 267-295.


Lisa A Williams, Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Australia

I am a social psychologist interested in the dynamics between emotional experience and social interaction. Much of my research focuses on positive emotions that arise in the context of social interactions – namely pride, gratitude, and compassion — and how those emotions, in turn, promote adaptive behaviours at the interpersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, and societal levels. 

Keywords: pride, gratitude, well-being, prosociality


Tyia Wilson, Doctoral Student, West Virginia University

Tyia is a first year doctoral student working in Dr. Amy Gentzler's Lab at West Virginia University. Her research interests include emotion socialization and how environmental factors in conjunction with child characteristics influence a child's emotional development.

Keywords: emotions, emotion socialization, parenting, culture, race


Adrienne Wood, Graduate Student, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Adrienne studies three aspects of emotion expression: how perceivers process its meaning, what cultural and social functions it serves, and how learned concepts modulate these processes.

Keywords: emotion perception, nonverbal behavior, sensorimotor simulation, culture

Wood, A., Rychlowska, M., Korb, S., & Niedenthal, P. (2016). Fashioning the face: Sensorimotor simulation contributes to facial expression recognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20(3), 227-240.

Wood, A., Rychlowska, M., & Niedenthal, P. (2016). Heterogeneity of long-history migration predicts emotion recognition accuracy. Emotion, 16, 413-420.


Yang Wu, PhD Candidate, MIT

I am interested in to what extent people can recover rich unobserved information from observed emotional cues. I aim to characterize the representations supporting this ability, the underlying computations, and their origin and development in infancy and childhood. My methods include computational models and behavioral studies with infants, children and adults. 

Keywords: emotional expression, causal reasoning, theory of mind, computational modeling

ShirleyYen_(MelissaBlackall)_-38 (1).jpg

Shirley Yen, Associate Professor (Research), Brown University

Shirley Yen is an Associate Professor (Research) at Brown University, Alpert Medical School. Her research interests are in the area of assessment and treatment of suicide risk in adolescents and young adults. She has recently developed a manualized treatment, Skills to Enhance Positivity (STEP), that involves skills-training enhanced by text messaging, that has been piloted in an inpatient adolescent sample and a young adult outpatient sample. She is interested in learning more about the mechanisms that underlie positive affect.