I am a Research Scientist at Stanford University and the Director of the Psychological Science Accelerator. I conduct research on emotions, big team science, and [more recently] AI.
In affective science, I seek to understand the social, cognitive, and physiological processes that underlie emotion. Much of my research here has focused on examining the extent to which sensorimotor feedback from the peripheral nervous system (e.g., changes in heart rate and muscle tension) impact the conscious experience of emotion.
In big team science, I seek to build infrastructure that allows researchers to collaboratively tackle ultra-complex questions in science. In this domain, I (a) direct the Psychological Science Accelerator: a consortium of researchers (2500+ from 70+ countries) who pool resources to accelerate the accumulation of generalizable knowledge in psychology, (b) co-direct the Stanford Big Team Science Lab, and (c) support various big team science initiatives (e.g., the Virtual Experience Research Accelerator and Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope).
In artificial intelligence, I am interested in ways that these new technologies can be used to monitor, predict, and change humans' emotions. For example, I recently founded the Emotion Physiology and Experience Collaboration, which seeks to improve the algorithmic recognition of emotion by (a) documenting cultural and contextual sources of model bias, and (b) building foundational datasets that can improve these models.
Social Science Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI)
Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations
Director, Psychological Science Accelerator (2021 - Present)
Ph. D., University of Tennessee, Social Psychology (2020)
M. A., University of Tennessee, Social Psychology (2017)
B. S., University of Central Florida, Interdisciplinary Science (Psychology, Statistics, Cognitive Science) (2015)
Leadership and Organization
- 'Big team' science challenges us to reconsider authorship. Nature human behaviour 2023
A multi-lab test of the facial feedback hypothesis by the Many Smiles Collaboration.
Nature human behaviour
Following theories of emotional embodiment, the facial feedback hypothesis suggests that individuals' subjective experiences of emotion are influenced by their facial expressions. However, evidence for this hypothesis has been mixed. We thus formed a global adversarial collaboration and carried out a preregistered, multicentre study designed to specify and test the conditions that should most reliably produce facial feedback effects. Data from n=3,878 participants spanning 19 countries indicated that a facial mimicry and voluntary facial action task could both amplify and initiate feelings of happiness. However, evidence of facial feedback effects was less conclusive when facial feedback was manipulated unobtrusively via a pen-in-mouth task.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-022-01458-9
View details for PubMedID 36266452
Fact or Artifact? Demand Characteristics and Participants' Beliefs Can Moderate, but Do Not Fully Account for, the Effects of Facial Feedback on Emotional Experience
JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual's facial expressions can influence their emotional experience (e.g., that smiling can make one feel happier). However, a reoccurring concern is that supposed facial feedback effects are merely methodological artifacts. Six experiments conducted across 29 countries (N = 995) examined the extent to which the effects of posed facial expressions on emotion reports were moderated by (a) the hypothesis communicated to participants (i.e., demand characteristics) and (b) participants' beliefs about facial feedback effects. Results indicated that these methodological artifacts moderated, but did not fully account for, the effects of posed facial expressions on emotion reports. Even when participants were explicitly told or personally believed that facial poses do not influence emotions, they still exhibited facial feedback effects. These results indicate that facial feedback effects are not solely driven by demand or placebo effects. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
View details for DOI 10.1037/pspa0000316
View details for Web of Science ID 000799980800001
View details for PubMedID 35617225
- Build up big-team science NATURE 2022; 601 (7894): 505-507
- Does Blocking Facial Feedback Via Botulinum Toxin Injections Decrease Depression? A Critical Review and Meta-Analysis EMOTION REVIEW 2019; 11 (4): 294-309
A Meta-Analysis of the Facial Feedback Literature: Effects of Facial Feedback on Emotional Experience Are Small and Variable
2019; 145 (6): 610-651
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual's experience of emotion is influenced by feedback from their facial movements. To evaluate the cumulative evidence for this hypothesis, we conducted a meta-analysis on 286 effect sizes derived from 138 studies that manipulated facial feedback and collected emotion self-reports. Using random effects meta-regression with robust variance estimates, we found that the overall effect of facial feedback was significant but small. Results also indicated that feedback effects are stronger in some circumstances than others. We examined 12 potential moderators, and 3 were associated with differences in effect sizes: (a) Type of emotional outcome: Facial feedback influenced emotional experience (e.g., reported amusement) and, to a greater degree, affective judgments of a stimulus (e.g., the objective funniness of a cartoon). Three publication bias detection methods did not reveal evidence of publication bias in studies examining the effects of facial feedback on emotional experience, but all 3 methods revealed evidence of publication bias in studies examining affective judgments. (b) Presence of emotional stimuli: Facial feedback effects on emotional experience were larger in the absence of emotionally evocative stimuli (e.g., cartoons). (c) Type of stimuli: When participants were presented with emotionally evocative stimuli, facial feedback effects were larger in the presence of some types of stimuli (e.g., emotional sentences) than others (e.g., pictures). The available evidence supports the facial feedback hypothesis' central claim that facial feedback influences emotional experience, although these effects tend to be small and heterogeneous. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View details for DOI 10.1037/bul0000194
View details for Web of Science ID 000468382400003
View details for PubMedID 30973236
The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology through a Distributed Collaborative Network.
Advances in methods and practices in psychological science
2018; 1 (4): 501-515
Concerns have been growing about the veracity of psychological research. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which one or more research projects are conducted across multiple lab sites, offers a pragmatic solution to these and other current methodological challenges. The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is a distributed network of laboratories designed to enable and support crowdsourced research projects. These projects can focus on novel research questions, or attempt to replicate prior research, in large, diverse samples. The PSA's mission is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. Here, we describe the background, structure, principles, procedures, benefits, and challenges of the PSA. In contrast to other crowdsourced research networks, the PSA is ongoing (as opposed to time-limited), efficient (in terms of re-using structures and principles for different projects), decentralized, diverse (in terms of participants and researchers), and inclusive (of proposals, contributions, and other relevant input from anyone inside or outside of the network). The PSA and other approaches to crowdsourced psychological science will advance our understanding of mental processes and behaviors by enabling rigorous research and systematically examining its generalizability.
View details for DOI 10.1177/2515245918797607
View details for PubMedID 31886452
How to build up big team science: a practical guide for large-scale collaborations.
Royal Society open science
2023; 10 (6): 230235
The past decade has witnessed a proliferation of big team science (BTS), endeavours where a comparatively large number of researchers pool their intellectual and/or material resources in pursuit of a common goal. Despite this burgeoning interest, there exists little guidance on how to create, manage and participate in these collaborations. In this paper, we integrate insights from a multi-disciplinary set of BTS initiatives to provide a how-to guide for BTS. We first discuss initial considerations for launching a BTS project, such as building the team, identifying leadership, governance, tools and open science approaches. We then turn to issues related to running and completing a BTS project, such as study design, ethical approvals and issues related to data collection, management and analysis. Finally, we address topics that present special challenges for BTS, including authorship decisions, collaborative writing and team decision-making.
View details for DOI 10.1098/rsos.230235
View details for PubMedID 37293356
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10245199
The Psychological Science Accelerator's COVID-19 rapid-response dataset.
2023; 10 (1): 87
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Psychological Science Accelerator coordinated three large-scale psychological studies to examine the effects of loss-gain framing, cognitive reappraisals, and autonomy framing manipulations on behavioral intentions and affective measures. The data collected (April to October 2020) included specific measures for each experimental study, a general questionnaire examining health prevention behaviors and COVID-19 experience, geographical and cultural context characterization, and demographic information for each participant. Each participant started the study with the same general questions and then was randomized to complete either one longer experiment or two shorter experiments. Data were provided by 73,223 participants with varying completion rates. Participants completed the survey from 111 geopolitical regions in 44 unique languages/dialects. The anonymized dataset described here is provided in both raw and processed formats to facilitate re-use and further analyses. The dataset offers secondary analytic opportunities to explore coping, framing, and self-determination across a diverse, global sample obtained at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be merged with other time-sampled or geographic data.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41597-022-01811-7
View details for PubMedID 36774440
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9918828
The Benefits, Barriers, and Risks of Big-Team Science.
Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
Progress in psychology has been frustrated by challenges concerning replicability, generalizability, strategy selection, inferential reproducibility, and computational reproducibility. Although often discussed separately, these five challenges may share a common cause: insufficient investment of intellectual and nonintellectual resources into the typical psychology study. We suggest that the emerging emphasis on big-team science can help address these challenges by allowing researchers to pool their resources together to increase the amount available for a single study. However, the current incentives, infrastructure, and institutions in academic science have all developed under the assumption that science is conducted by solo principal investigators and their dependent trainees, an assumption that creates barriers to sustainable big-team science. We also anticipate that big-team science carries unique risks, such as the potential for big-team-science organizations to be co-opted by unaccountable leaders, become overly conservative, and make mistakes at a grand scale. Big-team-science organizations must also acquire personnel who are properly compensated and have clear roles. Not doing so raises risks related to mismanagement and a lack of financial sustainability. If researchers can manage its unique barriers and risks, big-team science has the potential to spur great progress in psychology and beyond.
View details for DOI 10.1177/17456916221082970
View details for PubMedID 36190899
In COVID-19 Health Messaging, Loss Framing Increases Anxiety with Little-to-No Concomitant Benefits: Experimental Evidence from 84 Countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic (and its aftermath) highlights a critical need to communicate health information effectively to the global public. Given that subtle differences in information framing can have meaningful effects on behavior, behavioral science research highlights a pressing question: Is it more effective to frame COVID-19 health messages in terms of potential losses (e.g., "If you do not practice these steps, you can endanger yourself and others") or potential gains (e.g., "If you practice these steps, you can protect yourself and others")? Collecting data in 48 languages from 15,929 participants in 84 countries, we experimentally tested the effects of message framing on COVID-19-related judgments, intentions, and feelings. Loss- (vs. gain-) framed messages increased self-reported anxiety among participants cross-nationally with little-to-no impact on policy attitudes, behavioral intentions, or information seeking relevant to pandemic risks. These results were consistent across 84 countries, three variations of the message framing wording, and 560 data processing and analytic choices. Thus, results provide an empirical answer to a global communication question and highlight the emotional toll of loss-framed messages. Critically, this work demonstrates the importance of considering unintended affective consequences when evaluating nudge-style interventions.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s42761-022-00128-3
View details for PubMedID 36185503
- WHY LECTURES ARE LIKE BLIND DATES NATURE 2022; 607 (7917): S3-S4
Theoretical, Methodological, and Statistical Issues With Claims about the Effect of Glabellar-Region Botulinum Toxin Injections on Depression
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2022: S11-S12
View details for Web of Science ID 000835359900025
A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nature human behaviour
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries and regions (n=21,644) were randomly assigned to one of two brief reappraisal interventions (reconstrual or repurposing) or one of two control conditions (active or passive). Results revealed that both reappraisal interventions (vesus both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing interventions had similar effects. Importantly, planned exploratory analyses indicated that reappraisal interventions did not reduce intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. The findings demonstrate the viability of creating scalable, low-cost interventions for use around the world. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on 12 May 2020. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4878591.v1.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-021-01173-x
View details for PubMedID 34341554
- Letter to the editor: Claims about the effects of botulinum toxin on depression should raise some eyebrows. Journal of psychiatric research 2021
To which world regions does the valence-dominance model of social perception apply?
NATURE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
2021; 5 (1): 159-169
Over the past 10 years, Oosterhof and Todorov's valence-dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgements of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear whether these findings apply to other regions. We addressed this question by replicating Oosterhof and Todorov's methodology across 11 world regions, 41 countries and 11,570 participants. When we used Oosterhof and Todorov's original analysis strategy, the valence-dominance model generalized across regions. When we used an alternative methodology to allow for correlated dimensions, we observed much less generalization. Collectively, these results suggest that, while the valence-dominance model generalizes very well across regions when dimensions are forced to be orthogonal, regional differences are revealed when we use different extraction methods and correlate and rotate the dimension reduction solution. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on 5 November 2018. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.7611443.v1 .
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-020-01007-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000604837700009
View details for PubMedID 33398150
- Analysis of Open Data and Computational Reproducibility in Registered Reports in Psychology ADVANCES IN METHODS AND PRACTICES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE 2020; 3 (2): 229-237
Developing the "Control Identity" Typology to Create More Effective Testicular Health Promotional Messaging
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MENS HEALTH
2018; 12 (3): 546-555
Testicular self-examination (TSE) promotional interventions historically operate without a theoretical framework, which negatively influences their effectiveness. As TSE is critical to the early detection of testicular cancer, this behavior is an essential component to improving overall male well-being. To address this need, the Control Identity personality typology was developed to assist in creating more effective TSE promotional interventions. Four outcome control dispositions were defined a priori based on the dimensions of illusions of control and locus of control. An original 41-item survey, the Control Identity Assessment Scale, was used to assess perceived vulnerability, value of health promotion, and health outcome control among a convenience sample of 300 university males aged 18 to 35 years via a cross-sectional research design. Factor and cluster analyses were employed to extract salient factors in the data and to identify subgroups within the sample. A consistent five-factor structure matrix (~70% explained variance) served as the foundation from which a k-means cluster analysis was employed to classify four types of individuals. Significant differences were detected between clusters on primary variables, including behavioral intentions to conduct TSE. The Control Identity typology aims to provide the needed mechanism for health practitioners to create more effective preventive health messaging to promote TSE. Future implications on employing this typology to segment audiences in order to increase overall effectiveness are offered. Application of this typology could ultimately lead to increasing TSE knowledge retention, behavioral intentions, actual performance, and adherence.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1557988315621143
View details for Web of Science ID 000432043100006
View details for PubMedID 26669773
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5987963
The costs and benefits of replication studies
BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES
2018; 41: e124
The debate about whether replication studies should become mainstream is essentially driven by disagreements about their costs and benefits and the best ways to allocate limited resources. Determining when replications are worthwhile requires quantifying their expected utility. We argue that a formalized framework for such evaluations can be useful for both individual decision-making and collective discussions about replication.
View details for DOI 10.1017/S0140525X18000596
View details for Web of Science ID 000458790700039
View details for PubMedID 31064512
- Varieties of mixed emotional experience CURRENT OPINION IN BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES 2017; 15: 72-76