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Department Faculty

Amelia Aldao

B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D., Yale University

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 psychiatric disorders (see Aldao, Nolen-Hoeksema, & Schweizer, 2010; Kring & Sloan, 2010). Subsequently, emotion regulation has been adopted as a framework to delineate basic psychopathological processes and to develop new psychotherapeutic approaches.

In the Psychopathology and Affective Sciences (PAS) Lab at OSU, we seek to understand emotion regulation deficits in psychopathology by investigating the relationship between emotion regulation strategies (e.g., acceptance, reappraisal, suppression, worry, rumination) and symptoms of 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. Given the importance of translational work in the delineation of pathological mechanisms, we study healthy participants as well as those suffering from psychiatric conditions. We elicit emotions with a wide range of techniques, including pictures, film clips, music, games, and social interactions. Because emotions are complex multi-modal phenomena, we utilize several methods to assess their regulation, including peripheral psychophysiology (e.g., heart rate variability, skin conductance, impedance cardiography, respiration), behavior (e.g., distress tolerance tasks), self-reports (e.g., diary studies), and, in the near future, central nervous system (e.g., fMRI, ERP).

Selected Publications

Aldao. A. (2013). The future of emotion regulation research: Capturing context. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 155-172.

Aldao, A., & Christensen, K. (2015). Linking the expanded process of emotion regulation to psychopathology by focusing on behavioral outcomes of regulation. Psychological Inquiry, 26, 27-36.

Aldao, A., & Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2012). When are adaptive strategies most predictive of psychopathology? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121, 276-281.

Aldao, A., Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Schweizer, S. (2010). Emotion regulation strategies and psychopathology: A meta analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 217-237.

Aldao, A., & Tull, M. (in press). Putting emotion regulation in context. Current Opinion in Psychology

Chaplin, T., & Aldao, A. (2013). Gender differences in emotion expression in children: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 735-765