PhD Project

Photo by Lewend Mayiwar

A large body of research has shown that emotions play a key role in shaping people’s judgments and decisions. However, people are also capable of regulating their emotions. One tactic of emotion regulation that has shown to be particularly promising is self-distancing. For instance, one might reflect on a negative or stressful situation from the perspective of a distant, impartial observer, or by focusing on the “bigger picture”. In my PhD project, I examine how self-distancing, and psychological distance more generally, shapes people’s judgments and decisions in conditions that involve risk or uncertainty. For instance, in one project, I examine how self-distancing regulates the influence of incidental emotions like fear and anger on risk taking. In another project, I examine how fear and self-distancing influence information processing during decision making; that is, the extent to which people rely on their intuition vs. engage in analytical processing. Finally, I am also very interested in the relationship between psychological distance and emotion itself. How do certain emotions enable people to traverse psychological distance? Why and how do some emotions contract people’s scope to the self and the here and now, whereas other emotions expand scope to consider distant people, places, and events?

While I mainly use experiments to explore these questions, I also use personality measures. My overall research is guided by an interest in open science, which seeks to make the scientific process open, transparent, and reproducible.

Lewend Mayiwar
Lewend Mayiwar
PhD Candidate (expected 2023)

Emotions, judgment and decision making, open science & reproducibility.