We had a blast presenting work from the lab at the 2020 annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans last month! In all, lab members and affiliates presented work in two posters, a preconference talk, and a professional development session. Here's a short rundown:
What happens when we find out that art we like was created by, well...a bad person? In collaboration with Seulbee Lee and Lisa Libby at the Ohio State University, we find that we feel, well, mixed! But when we find out that information matters: we're less bothered if we already saw (and liked) it OR we knew the artist was bad all along. See the poster for more!
What do birdwatching, stamp collecting, and seashells have in common? They're all hobbies centered around the cognitive act of collecting and categorizing. Recent work in the lab suggests that the mere act of categorization may be rewarding, because it helps us make sense of the world around us. Check out the poster with UF graduate student Joy Losee, designed by lab RA Emily Swenson .
Is boredom bad? In a short talk at the Emotion preconference, Erin Westgate presented data suggesting that boredom isn't good or bad; it's our choices that determine that. But our choices, it turns out, are limited by the environments around us.
How do I land a job as a faculty member in social psychology? Erin Westgate and Matt Baldwin, from the UF social area, team up with another recent hire (Allie Farrel) and longtime leader in the field (Monica Biernat) to talk shop on the faculty job interview process. Slides here!
We are thrilled to announce that Yijun Lin will be joining the lab as our first graduate student in the fall of 2020! Yijun currently lives in NYC where she works as an RA in Gabrielle Oettingen's lab. She received her M.S. in Integrated Marketing from New York University and her B.S. in Psychology from Beijing Normal University. Yijun has broad interests in self-concept, self-regulation, and emotions. Her primary work focuses on procrastination. Specifically, what are the emotional mechanisms of procrastination and how to promote goal striving when procrastinating?
"When a Russian man stole an army tank and drove it into a local supermarket, you would have been forgiven for thinking he had good reason. Nope, reported journalists: He was just bored."
Much like pain, we argue, boredom isn't pleasant - but it signals important deficits in attention and meaning. Those signals can go awry and steer us towards bad behavior in environments where good options are lacking. Read more in our latest lab paper, now out in Current Directions!