Research at PAS Lab

Emotions are a central part of the human experience. They are elicited quickly and intensely and constitute an important source of information, as they signal to us where to find nourishment and support and warn us of potential dangers. However, in many instances, we fail to adequately manage, or regulate, our emotions. As a consequence, we might experience substantial difficulties interacting with our environments. Such deficits in emotion regulation have been associated with the development and maintenance of a wide range of mental disorders (see Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, 2010). Subsequently, emotion regulation has been adopted as a framework to delineate basic psychopathological processes and to develop new psychotherapeutic approaches.

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In the Psychopathology and Affective Sciences (PAS) Lab at OSU, we conduct experimental work to identify the emotion regulation deficits that characterize anxiety and depression. We adopt a transdiagnostic approach, that is, we seek to identify which mechanisms are disorder-specific and which ones are shared among disorders (e.g., Aldao, 2013a; Aldao et al., 2010; Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2012; McLaughlin, Aldao, Wisco, & Hilt, 2014; Vine & Aldao, 2014). Given the importance of translational work in the delineation of pathological mechanisms, we study healthy participants as well as those suffering from psychiatric conditions. In light of the central role that contextual factors play in emotional functioning (Aldao, 2013b; Aldao & Tull, in press), we adopt a multi-method approach to elicit emotions (e.g., pictures, film clips, music, games, social interactions) and to assess their regulation (e.g., subjective feelings, motivated behavior, heart rate variability, impedance cardiography, skin conductance). We strongly believe in the importance of replicating work and of examming aggregated findings (big data), so when possible, we conduct meta analytic reviews (e.g., Aldao et al., 2010; Chaplin & Aldao, 2013; Christensen, Seager, Aldao, in prep).

 

In the past couple of years, we have been focusing on the following topics (in healthy, anxious, and/or depressed individuals):

 

1) Emotion regulation and motivated behavior (e.g., Aldao & Christensen, 2015; Christensen & Aldao, in press; Aldao & Wisco, in press; Koole & Aldao, in press).

 

2) Emotion regulation flexibility (e.g., Aldao, Dixon-Gordon, De Los Reyes, in press; Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2012a; Aldao, Sheppes, & Gross, in press).

 

3) Repertoires of emotion regulation strategies (e.g., Aldao & Dixon-Gordon, 2014; Aldao & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2012b; Aldao, Jazaieri, Goldin, & Gross, 2014; Dixon-Gordon, Aldao, & De Los Reyes; in press; Wisco, Plate, & Aldao, in prep).

 

4) Interpersonal emotion regulation (e.g., Aldao & Dixon-Gordon, 2013; Christensen, Plate, & Aldao, in prep).


If you are interested in getting involved as a research assistant or graduate student, please email Dr. Aldao (aldao.1@osu.edu)