Inquiries in Affective Science Lab

Researcher - Dr. Nakia Gordon

The Research

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. This work is not possible without the intellectual contributions of the graduate students in the lab. 

Current Projects Include:

The role of emotion in resolving ambiguity

Humans are social creatures. And, most social interactions have some degree of ambiguity. The way 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 are also test whether being distressed by a third factor influences those interpretations.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion does not occur in a vacuum. Whether we recognize it or not, we often regulate our emotions as they occur. Understanding the tools people use to regulate their emotions and how that influences behavior is another topic we are interested in.

  • We examine whether emotion regulation strategies have a role in our interpretation bias studies.
  • We investigate the influence of implicit and explicit emotion regulation on emotional reactivity behavioral responses, and physiological measures
  • We examine how individual emotion regulation interacts with regulation that happens between individuals and what the emotional, behavioral and physiological outcomes are.  

Graduate Students

  • Samantha A Chesney
  • Sydney C Timmer

Undergraduate Students

What will this lab experience provide to undergraduate students?

  • Learning to use physiological recording equipment
  • Analyzing physiological data
  • Testing participants in the lab
  • Data entry using SPSS
  • Assisting in research development and implementation
  • Opportunity to present work at regional conference

Lab Photos

Graduate Students

Graduate students Samantha A Chesney and
Sydney C Timmer

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