Overall, I am interested in the way people process social information. Specifically, I am interested in message framing, and what happens to people’s attitudes when frames are encountered in a particular order. Additionally, I am interested in the impact of psychological distance on the way people construe the world around them.
I study biases, framing, and counterfactual thinking. My research integrates regulatory focus theory with the literatures on negativity and positivity biases to examine how the order in which people consider negative and positive information influences their attitudes, affective responses, and downstream behavior. Different lines of my research study how people get stuck in certain ways of thinking—a negative (vs. positive) frame or a downward (vs. upward) counterfactual (i.e., a thought of what could have been worse vs. what could have been better)— and some of the contexts that enable people to get unstuck and think more flexibly.
I study how people think at different levels of abstraction. In particular, I am interested in how people connect abstract thinking (e.g., about future goals) with their current experience, and what this dynamic process means for their social life and behaviors. Additionally, I am interested in methodological issues related to statistical validity in experimental design and data analyses (e.g, covariate use, structural equation modeling).