Welcome to our lab!
An introduction to our research:
How do individuals successfully navigate their intra- and interpersonal worlds? In our lab, we explore how and why individuals are able to both effectively manage and sometimes disastrously mismanage themselves in the pursuit of their goals. We take a general principles approach to exploring these issues, which posits that “person” and “situation” variables are simply different sources of the same general underlying principles or mechanisms. How do orientations towards nurturance versus security affect perceptions, judgments, decisions, and behavior? How do the strategic and tactical ways in which individuals engage in goal pursuit affect well-being and self-regulatory effectiveness? We embrace a motivated cognition framework in pursuing both basic and applied questions relating to self-regulation. We examine these factors in the context of moral and immoral behavior (led by James), with respect to drug use (led by Allison), and in the context of reconciliation (led by Christine).
What are the motivational underpinnings of well-being? How does this relate to "the good life" in humans and other animals? The lab is involved in many areas of well-being research, from the investigation of how morality is integrated into the good life (led by James) to the investigation of well-being in non-human animals (led by Becca). Generally, we are interested in the motivations (i.e., truth, value, and control) that drive animals as they seek a life of meaning and happiness.
What motivates us to make the decisions we do? How does the decision maker’s regulatory focus impact the process and its experience? In general, the research in this area looks at underlying motivational underpinnings of decision-making and how they translate into strategic and tactical choices. What role does chronic and state-induced regulatory focus and mode play in strategic and tactical choices? We examine how a promotion-oriented individual generally preferring to use eager strategies might differ in tactical choices from a prevention-oriented person who prefers vigilant strategies, and how a locomotion-oriented person with a high concern for control might prefer different strategies from an assessment-oriented person with a high concern for truth. We examine the role of strategic preferences in moral judgments (led by James), in consumer choice and online behavior (led by Allison) and those in conflict situations (led by Christine).