UC Berkeley Institute of Personality and Social Research


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IPSR Scholars Head To The Mile High City

The Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP) held its annual conference in Denver, Colorado this September, giving IPSR scholars a chance to present their research in the Mile High City.

  • Dr. Serena Chen chaired the program committee and also gave an informal paper presentation on her research (in collaboration with recent PhD graduate Muping Gan) showing that the effects of authenticity can boost feelings of power.
  • In a symposium on the topic of delay of gratification, Dr. Ozlem Ayduk presented research showing that children's performance on the delay-of-gratification task is associated with stronger functional connections between the nucleus accumbens and brain regions that underlie self-control (i.e., prefrontal and parietal cortices). The findings were published this summer in the journal Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience.
  • In a symposium on deception and lie detection, postdoc student Leanne ten Brinke discussed how the human body detects lies. In the same symposium, Dr. Dana Carney discussed the role of nonverbal supply and survival demand in ordinary people's abilities to detect deception.
  • What determines whether two people hit it off well enough to start a romantic relationship? Dr. Art Aron and graduate student Marie Chelberg have been asking this question in their research on relationship formation. In a symposium on trust and romantic relationships, Art discussed how trust-related factors influence whether the so-called 'spark' turns into a fire, or simply fizzles out.
  • Are you happy? If so, when are you happy? Postdoc Matt Killingsworth presented experience-sampling data revealing how person-level predictors of happiness vary by situation.
  • Adaptively managing your emotions is key to maintaining psychological well-being. What role does physiology play in this equation? Dr. Iris Mauss gave a talk on how physiological measures can elucidate the links between emotion regulation and psychological health.
  • Postdoc Jordan Leitner chaired a symposium on the topic of self-focus. In this session, Jordan presented findings showing that thinking back on negative memories in a foreign language increases psychological distances and facilitates emotional regulation; this research was done in collaboration with Drs. Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton and Ozlem Ayduk. Jordan also gave a talk on the use of self-distancing for enhancing interracial mentor-mentee relationships. 
    tronger functional coupling between the nucleus
    accumbens, a brain region that supports approach behavior, and several regions within prefrontal and parietal cortex