KENT CLINICAL AFFECTIVE SCIENCE LAB
Kent State University, Kent OH
ABOUT THE LAB
Our research is focused on developing a deeper understanding of emotion processing and regulation and how this may relate to understanding normative behavior as well as the development and persistence of psychopathology. Most contemporary theories of emotion suggest that emotions evolved to help us respond to the world around us, including potential threats in the environment. As such, emotion responses are central in our interactions with others and our ability to manage the inevitable stresses of life. Our research focuses primarily on examining emotion processing in populations in the midst of highly stressful events or circumstances (e.g. illness, trauma, bereavement) as well as populations struggling with severe psychopathology (Depression, Stress, and Anxiety Disorders). By attempting to understand the underlying components of both implicit (or automatic) emotion processing and regulatory responses, as well as effortful emotion regulatory action we hope to be able pinpoint early markers of emotion-related disease as well as the features that help contribute to resilience and healthy outcomes.
In order to meet this goal, we often conduct experimental research in the laboratory using real-world techniques designed to capture emotion responses spontaneously and naturalistically as they emerge in response to interviews and stimuli. Our lab investigations of emotion processing frequently involve multiple simultaneous measures of emotion that include psycho-physiological responses, facial behavior, genetic or hormone assays, and of course, self-report, in order to begin to understand what is a complex, multi-dimensional response system. We also rely heavily on experience-sampling methodology, including ambulatory tools that allow us to access both self-report as well as physiological indicators of emotion out in the real world, as they are generated naturally in daily life.