Special Symposia

Presidential Symposia – Saturday, April 1

Shinobu Kitayama, University of Michigan

New Frontiers of Culture and Emotion Research

European Americans regard emotion as a core of their independent self and thus express it relatively openly. In contrast, East Asians view emotion as a hindrance to their interdependent self and thus often suppress it. In this talk, I will review the growing evidence for this hypothesis and extend it to Latin America, where one can discern an emotionally expressive form of interdependence.

Amy Halberstadt, North Carolina State University

Professor Amy Halberstadt will apply a developmental lens to questions of how culture becomes infused in our emotion beliefs and emotion-related experiences and understanding, thus impacting emotion regulatory processes over time. Along the way, she will describe cultural aspects of the development and regulation of gratitude, respect, and sadness, as well as race-related threat (a cultural phenomenon widespread in the US).

Yulia Chentsova-Dutton, Georgetown University

Cultural models of regulating distress 

The ways people regulate their emotions and the impact of regulatory strategies are shaped by culture. Given its importance to mental illness, it is critical to understand how emotion regulation is understood vis-a-vis cultural scripts of distress. This talk will examine the intersection of cultural and clinical psychology with affective science, with examples of emerging work on cultural models of managing distressing emotions.

Awards Symposia

Christopher Daryl  Cameron, Pennsylvania State University

Empathic Choices: Understanding Motivated Empathy Regulation

Why does empathy appear to fail in cases of mass suffering, in intergroup conflicts, and many other challenging situations? Is it because empathy is a biased emotional process, or because people are strategic in how and whether they engage with it in the first place? In this talk, I will address these questions through the lens of motivated empathy regulation: people may calculate whether empathy is on balance more beneficial or costly (e.g., is it effortful? Is it socially rewarding?), and deploy emotion regulation strategies such as situation selection to shape their feelings accordingly. I’ll focus on recent work developing and applying the empathy selection task, as a free choice measure of motivated empathy regulation, and consider how it can help us to understand the inhibitors to empathetic engagement and possibilities for motivating prosociality.

Dylan  Gee, Yale University

Leveraging Developmental Affective Neuroscience to Promote Youth Mental Health

Understanding how early experiences shape neurodevelopment is critical to identifying risk for mental health disorders and optimizing interventions for youth. This talk will highlight developmental and stress-related changes in the neural circuitry that supports emotional learning and regulation. Findings will be discussed in terms of their implications for translating affective science to promote youth mental health.

Anthony  Ong, Cornell University

More than Just the Mean: Moving to a Dynamic View of Positive Affect

Considerable theory and research reveals that high positive affect (PA) confers many benefits to individuals and that it relates to adaptive psychological outcomes. Increasingly, however, it has become clear that high PA also has a costly side, as it sometimes relates to adverse outcomes such as intense psychological distress, risky health behaviors, and even early mortality. Here, I report on research that focuses on enduring and fragile forms of PA in relation to health. Whereas PA that is enduring is relatively stable and reflects the average level of positive feeling states across time, PA that is fragile reflects short-term fluctuations in PA that are variable and subject to external influence. I discuss how consideration of both PA level and various forms of PA dynamics can provide a framework for reconciling when PA is conducive or detrimental to health. I conclude that more work on PA dynamics is needed, especially in combination with PA level, and suggest productive questions for future inquiry in this area.

Hannah  Savage, Radboud University

Potential for the normative modelling framework in affective science

Affective science is increasingly acknowledging the heterogeneity in subjective and objective measures of emotional experiences. Optimally quantifying these differences, however, remains a methodological challenge. I will discuss the normative modelling framework, an emerging approach to chart heterogeneity at the level of the individual with respect the population, and its potential for understanding interindividual differences in emotional responding.

Meltem  Yucel, Duke University

No fair!”: Children’s and adults’ perceptions of fairness norms

Children are sensitive to (un)fairness. But little is known about the extent to which children perceive fairness as a moral vs. a conventional norm. Through five studies with children and adults in the U.S., this work establishes how children understand fairness norms, how children’s fairness understanding changes with age, and the role of harm in the moralization of fairness norms.

Diversity Symposia – Friday, March 31st

Psychophysiological Responses to Unfair Treatment: The Cardiovascular Conundrum

The Cardiovascular Conundrum, in which African Americans (AA) show high blood pressure, and high heart rate variability, may represent a short-term adaptive response to unfair treatment with long term deleterious consequences. In our talk, we highlight multiple emotion-related factors that likely perpetuate, and potentially mitigate, this physiological phenomena among AA and other marginalized groups (e.g., LGBTQAI+ individuals).

Julian Thayer, Distinguished Professor of Psychological Science, University of California, Irvine


DeWayne Williams, Assistant Professor of Psychological Science, University of California, Irvine