Winners are Grinners

Winners are Grinners

I had a great time chatting with Hilary Harper on Life Matters today about the costs and benefits of expressing positive emotions in victory! You can listen to our discussion here or read more about the research that inspired it here.

The Cost of Keeping Secrets

The Cost of Keeping Secrets

I’m delighted to announce a new line of work funded by an ARC Discovery Project with Dr Elise Kalokerinos of the University of Newcastle, and Dr Michael Slepian and Professor Adam Galinsky of Columbia University. The project will investigate the psychological impact of keeping secrets in everyday life.

You can hear more about this project and our research on secrecy in this ABC Life Matters interview.

SESP Symposium in Seattle

SESP Symposium in Seattle

I’m excited for our symposium on Psychology in Everyday Life at SESP in Seattle this week. Four excellent presenters will talk about how experience sampling can be used to inform psychological science in multiple domains. We’ll be presenting in Princessa II from 4:50-6pm on Friday 5 October.

Psychology in Everyday Life

The richness of human psychology is what attracted many of us to the field: the opportunity to study people in their natural environments of home, work, school, and beyond. Yet, many of our cherished findings are confined to one particular environment: the laboratory. Moving beyond the walls of the lab is critical for psychology to advance. Indeed, the study of psychology in everyday life has uncovered a number of new findings that could not have been anticipated using traditional lab-based methods. The talks in this symposium showcase such findings, exploring the power of experience sampling for refining our understanding of human psychology across a range of domains. Focusing on intrapersonal phenomena, Kalokerinos and Slepian outline how studying emotion regulationand information regulationin daily life can shed new light on old fields of research by revealing the ways people’s daily behaviors confound expectations based on lab research. Focusing on interpersonal phenomena, Overall and Smith discuss how experience sampling can reveal novel insights into the causes and consequences of relationship qualityand social power. Together, the talks demonstrate that certain psychological processes cannot be fully understood within the context of the lab. For psychological science to continue progressing, we must incorporate methods that allow for a deeper reach into people’s everyday lives. As this symposium shows, doing so will result in a more theoretically, empirically, and practically impactful science.

APS Rising Star Award

APS Rising Star Award

I was honoured to be named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, an award presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers. I was particularly proud and grateful to be named alongside my peers and friends, including my colleague at the University of Melbourne Pete Koval. This award means all the more to be able to share it with people I admire.

SESP Symposium

SESP Symposium

I really enjoyed taking part in a symposium organised by Serena Does and Margaret Shih on the 2016 US Presidential Election.


Michael Slepian presented data on why and how people kept their votes secret, and the implications of this for emotional well-being. I presented data showing that political group identification – usually a source of perceived personal agency – did not predict perceived personal control among Democrats 24 hours following the Election (although this relationship re-emerged 72 hours following the Election). Serena Does presented data on the implications of Trump’s election for perceived gender equity.


This was a great opportunity, providing a chance to debrief on the 2016 Election which, in addition to being a fascinating event in its own right, can teach us a lot about human psychology more broadly.

SASP Symposium and Award

SASP Symposium and Award

I’m excited to be presenting my research in a symposium organised by Pete Koval at the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists in April. The symposium covers recent advancements in the study of emotion regulation, and features a great line-up of speakers, including Luke Smillie, Cindy Harmon-Jones, Sean Murphy, Carolyn MacCann, Pete Koval, and Brock Bastian.

While at SASP, I feel extremely honoured to be accepting the Early Career Award, which recognizes an emerging scholar who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of social psychology in Australasia.


EASP Symposium on Putting Emotions in Context

EASP Symposium on Putting Emotions in Context

I will present in a symposium at the upcoming European Association for Social Psychology conference in Granada, Spain in July 2017.


Context both produces emotion and shapes emotion: how it is expressed, regulated, and perceived. However, in practice, research often examines emotion processes without considering the important contextual factors that shape them, missing nuance that is vital to a deeper understanding of these phenomena. This symposium showcases emerging research demonstrating how context fundamentally shapes the way people express and regulate their emotions, and the personal and social outcomes of these processes. We begin by exploring the role that context plays in perceptions of emotion expression. Manstead demonstrates that context influences how trustworthy people appear when they express regret or pride. Van Kleef presents evidence that context influences how persuasive people are when they express happiness or sadness. Greenaway explores how context influences social ratings of people who express and suppress positive emotion. Widening the field to consider emotion regulation, Netzer demonstrates how context guides people’s attempts to regulate the emotions of others. Finally, Kalokerinos outlines how context shapes the emotion regulation strategies people use in daily life. Taken together, the talks reveal that the personal and social effects of emotion expression and regulation are not fixed, but are highly malleable; shaped and changed by key contextual factors. These findings show the role played by contexts across diverse domains, including economic decision-making, attitude change, social relationships, conflict resolution, and well-being.

1. Social context moderates the impact of emotional expressions in mixed-motive games   

Tony Manstead, Cardiff University

2. Contextual Influences on Emotional Persuasion: The Roles of Message Framing, Emotion Relevance, and Information Processing

Gerben van Kleef, University of Amsterdam

3. Exploring the contexts in which expressing positive emotion has social costs

Katharine Greenaway, University of Queensland

4. Toying with the Enemy’s Emotions: The Social Factors that Moderate Motivated Intergroup Emotion Regulation

Liat Netzer, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

5. Mapping the role of context in emotion regulation choice and effectiveness

Elise Kalokerinos, KU Leuven

EASP Symposium on Applying the Social Cure

EASP Symposium on Applying the Social Cure

I will chair a symposium at the upcoming European Association for Social Psychology conference in Granada, Spain in July 2017.


An impressive body of work now shows that strong social connections—and the social identities they afford—have significant health and well-being benefits. Yet practitioners and policy makers are often at a loss for how to translate this research into effective interventions designed to leverage shared identity. This symposium presents five applications of these research findings in significant populations, and interventions built around their conclusions. Haslam introduces a social intervention designed for use in vulnerable populations, Groups 4 Health, that leads to significant improvement in mental health and loneliness at program completion and 6-months later. Bentley discusses the results of a sister intervention designed for application in the educational domain, Groups 4 Education, that leads to greater empowerment and intentions to continue studying among university students. Working with Public Health England, Ntontis presents the results of field research with community residents affected by flooding, finding that shared identities can be the basis of mobilizing social support, contributing to community resilience. Tarrant discusses the results of a group-based intervention designed to increase shared identity among patients experiencing aphasia after a stroke. Finally, Steffens presents a leadership development intervention, the 5R Program, that builds group-based organisational capacity and enhances employees’ well-being. Together, the talks introduce promising interventions with the potential to improve social and health outcomes in a diverse range of domains, from mental health treatment to emergency response, stroke recovery, and educational and organisational support.


1. Groups 4 Health: An intervention to increase social connectedness in clinical samples  

Cath Haslam, University of Queensland

2. Groups 4 Education: An intervention to increase social connectedness in academic samples

Sarah Bentley, University of Queensland

3. Developing community resilience through social identities

Evangelos Ntontis, University of Sussex

4. Development and evaluation of a group-based singing intervention in new patient groups

Mark Tarrant, University of Exeter

5. The 5R Program: A leadership intervention to promote engagement and health in organizations

Niklas Steffens, University of Queensland

SPSP Symposium on Social Cure Accepted

SPSP Symposium on Social Cure Accepted

I will co-chair a symposium with Christopher Begeny at the upcoming Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in San Antonio in January 2017.




What makes us healthy? This symposium showcases new frontiers in the social determinants of health. Four talks illustrate how our psychological connections to groups—social identities—have the power to both enhance and harm our health. Beginning with identity’s potential to harm health, Smart Richman shows that construing unhealthy behaviors as part of one’s ethnic identity increases unhealthy eating under stress. Branscombe shows how perceived lack of belonging in the U.S. undermines Arab Americans’ mental and physical health. Turning to identity’s power to enhance health, Begeny shows across four groups that subtle cues conveying value and acceptance shape identity in ways that promote mental health. Haslam reveals how identities can treat mental illness in one of the first longitudinal interventions of its kind. Overall, this symposium presents new ways of understanding what makes us healthy, outlining identity’s dual power to harm and to heal.


Effects of Discrimination on Health-Related Behaviors: An Identity-Based Motivational Model

Laura Smart Richman, Duke University


Where do I fit in? Arab Americans’ Identity and Health

Nyla R. Branscombe, University of Kansas


Everyday Interactions Turn Strength of “Me” into Strength of “We”

Christopher T. Begeny, University of California, Los Angeles


Unlocking the Social Cure: Groups 4 Health

S Alexander Haslam, The University of Queensland


SESP Symposium on Deception Accepted

SESP Symposium on Deception Accepted

I will chair a symposium on The Upside of Deception at the upcoming meeting of the Society of Experimental Psychology in Santa Monica. Our symposium will be on Friday 30 September from 3:35 – 4:45pm.




A philandering spouse, a habitual liar, a secretive friend; the concept of “deception” conjures up an image of people at their worst. In line with this image, the psychological literature tends to focus on negative personal and social consequences of deception. In addition to incurring a cognitive cost and a well-being tax, deception has been shown to hurt relationships and undermine interpersonal trust. In this symposium we take a novel perspective by showcasing emerging work on the upside of deception. We show that not only can detecting deception yield personal and social benefits, but so can engaging in deception. Levine discusses the benefits of prosocial lies, demonstrating that lying for altruistic reasons increases interpersonal trust. Slepian examines how keeping secrets can be good for you, revealing that keeping positive secrets improves well-being. Kalokerinos explores the social benefits of keeping positive emotions hidden in order to protect another person’s feelings. Carney discusses the benefits of detecting deception and the conditions under which deception is most likely to be successful. The talks reveal that deception—both by omission and commission—can be good for you and your relationships, with diverse consequences for personal well-being, performance, and economic outcomes as well as the formation and maintenance of social relationships. By highlighting the unexpected upsides of being deceitful, this symposium brings nuance to the psychological understanding of deception—why it exists, when it should be used, and how people can engage in and detect it effectively.


Deception: The Trust Benefits of Prosocial Lies

Emma E. Levine, University of Chicago


Concealment: The Personal Benefits of Keeping Secrets

Michael L. Slepian, Columbia University



Suppression: The Social Benefits of Hiding Emotions

Elise K. Kalokerinos, KU Leuven



Dishonesty: How to Catch a Liar

Dana R. Carney, University of California, Berkeley