Blog : Travel

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.


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

EASP meeting on Promoting a Social Approach to Emotions

EASP meeting on Promoting a Social Approach to Emotions

I’m really looking forward to the EASP Medium Sized Meeting on Promoting a Social Approach to Emotions at the University of Cologne, where I’m presenting with my partner in crime, Elise Kalokerinos. We’re discussing recent work that takes a new approach to positive emotion expression and suppression.

9:15 – 9:45, Kalokerinos & Greenaway: Context shapes social judgments of positive emotion expression and suppression.

9:45 – 10:15, Greenaway & Kalokerinos: How to lose friends and influence people – expressing positive emotion can increase perceived status in competitive contexts.

SPSP Emotion Preconference data blitz

SPSP Emotion Preconference data blitz

I’ll be presenting at the 2016 SPSP Emotion Preconference in the data blitz session. The session will take place from 11:20 – 12:00 on Thursday 28 January in room 6C of the San Diego Convention Centre.


Abstract: We generally think being positive is a good way to win friends and influence people. Yet, there are many contexts in which it is inappropriate to express positive emotion. To avoid social condemnation in such situations, it may be better to regulate one’s emotions by suppressing positive emotion. However, the majority of past research has found suppression to be a maladaptive strategy with personal and social costs. We argue this is because past research has not considered the moderating role of social context. We hypothesized that positive emotion expressions would be inappropriate when the valence of the emotion (e.g., positive) did not match the valence of the context (e.g., negative). Six studies show that in the case of an emotion-context mismatch, targets who suppress positive emotion are rated more positively than targets who express positive emotion. This provides the first evidence that suppression can be a socially useful regulation strategy in contexts that call for it.


SESP symposium accepted!

SESP symposium accepted!

Our symposium was selected for inclusion in the 2015 SESP conference in Denver, Colorado. The symposium is titled “Emotion Experience and Expression In Situ: The Who, When, Where, and How of Social Outcomes of Emotion” and unites researchers who are interested in understanding how context guides emotion processes.


Symposium details

Chair: Katie Greenaway

Co-chairs: Elise Kalokerinos & Jessica Salerno

Abstract: It is well known that emotions have important effects on behavior. Yet, the literature that documents these effects tends to do so in context-less vacuums rather than in situ, where emotions are actually experienced and expressed. This symposium showcases emerging research demonstrating that social context fundamentally shapes the way people perceive emotions, and the social outcomes of those perceptions. We explore the who, when, where, and how of context in moderating the social effects of emotion. Russell presents evidence that the emotion perceived in a face changes depending on where it is perceived (i.e., the contextual background against which is it evaluated). Greenaway demonstrates that positive emotion expressions attract social penalties when displayed in negative (vs. positive) contexts. Salerno demonstrates that the social effectiveness of expressing negative emotion in group decision-making depends on who expresses it. Tamir explores how the behavioral utility of emotion changes depending on context, revealing that how people choose to experience emotion influences their ability to achieve social goals. The talks reveal that the social effects of emotion experience and expression are not fixed, but are highly malleable, shaped and changed by social context, with diverse social consequences for social relationships, self-regulation, negotiations, and group decision-making.



James Russell: Context in the Perception of Emotion from Facial Expression

Katie Greenaway & Elise Kalokerinos: Context Shapes Social Judgments of Emotion Expression and Suppression

Jessica Salerno: Emotion Expression Creates Race and Gender Gaps in Minority Influence during Group Decision Making

Maya Tamir: The Emotional Placebo Effect

Presenting at Princeton

Presenting at Princeton

I’m heading to Princeton to present at a conference on The Great Recession and Social Class Divides. The conference is organised by Susan Fiske and Miguel Moya and will gather invited speakers to discuss the ways that belonging to different social classes influences various social psychological processes, especially in the context of the current economic crisis.

EASP symposium in Amsterdam

EASP symposium in Amsterdam

I’m co-organising two symposia at EASP with Tegan Cruwys. The symposia will be held on Wednesday 9th July in Oudemanhuispoort room D0.09 and will discuss the latest research on The Social Cure. Please come along if you’re in the neighbourhood!

Social Identity and Health Part 1: Social identity promotes recovery in vulnerable populations  (9:00 – 10:40am)

*Please note, this symposium is listed with an incorrect title in the printed version of the program. These are the correct details.

Chaired by Jolanda Jetten and Tegan Cruwys

In Social Identity and Health Part 1, we explore the experience and expression of social identity among the most vulnerable members of society. Our presentations cover depression, multiple sclerosis, pregnancy, homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction and smoking cessation.

Tegan Cruwys – Social identification and depression recovery: The curative benefits of group membership

Fabio Sani – Group identification and mental health among multiple sclerosis patients, school pupils and pregnant women

Zoe Walter – Two pathways through adversity: Social identity, social support, and psychological well-being in a homeless sample

Genevieve Dingle – Breaking Bad: social identity and network changes can benefit wellbeing and recovery from substance misuse

Hugh Webb – The decline of brand identity and smoking behaviour following the introduction of plain packaging


Social Identity and Health Part 2: Social identity enhances resilience and well-being (11:05 – 12:45pm)

Chaired by Alex Haslam and Katie Greenaway

Social Identity and Health Part 2 explores how maintaining, crafting, and managing identity promotes resilience and well-being. We show that social identities do not merely promote freedom from illness, but enable people to thrive in a state of well-being.

Dario Spini – Social group participation, identity continuity and well-being after the loss of an intimate partner

Thomas Morton – Social inclusion enhances the health and well-being of seniors: Preliminary findings from the AGES project

Nik Steffens – Leaders enhance team members’ health and well-being by furthering social identity

Stuart Read – Coping with situational stigma: Ingroup ties, identity performance, and well-being in physical disability

Katie Greenaway – The control within, from without: Group identification improves health and well-being through increased perceived control

In New York for ISJR

In New York for ISJR


I’m visiting New York to attend the International Society for Justice Research biennial conference. In between amazing food, great live music, and my everlasting search for good coffee I’ll be hearing about top notch socially impactful research! My talk is at 2:10 on Saturday June 21 in the session “Overcoming obstacles to social change”, abstract below:

Feeling hopeful inspires support for social change

Hope is an emotion that has been implicated in social change efforts, yet no research has examined whether feeling hopeful actually motivates support for social change. Study 1 (N=274) confirmed that hope is associated with greater support for social change in two countries with different political contexts. Study 2 (N=165) revealed that hope predicts support for social change better than other emotions often investigated in collective action research. Study 3 (N=100) replicated this finding using a hope scale and showed the effect occurs over and above positive mood. Study 4 (N=58) demonstrated experimentally that hope motivates support for social change. In all four studies, the effect of hope was mediated by perceived efficacy to achieve social equality. This research confirms the motivating potential of hope and illustrates the power of this emotion in generating social change.



Women in Science meeting in Cambridge

Women in Science meeting in Cambridge

This week I met with seven incredibly talented female scholars in very diverse areas of science. We were brought together with support from a CIFAR Creativity Grant to discuss why women are still underrepresented at top levels in almost every academic domain. By the time women reach the hallowed rank of full professor, they represent only a third of the academic workforce. Why is this the case? At what point are women leaving academia?

We argue that the answer lies in the vulnerable early career stages in which women face some specific challenges that might put them at risk of missing out on—or dropping out of—an academic career. In particular, much of the attrition happens in the postdoctoral stage—the stage at which many of us on this team find ourselves. The postdoc years are the leakiest part of the academic faucet, the time at which women are most in danger of slipping through the cracks.

We’re currently working on an opinion piece that discusses these issues in relation to our personal experiences. There is a surprising amount of overlap in our experiences, especially considering that we come from such diverse fields! Here’s a taste of who is on the team:

Anne Broadbent – Quantum Computer Scientist

Maya Bhatia – Oceanographer

Margaret Frye – Sociologist and Demographer

Katie Greenaway – Social Psychologist

Elena Hassinger – Physicist in Quantum Materials

Else Stareknburg – Galactic Archaeologist

Vera Tai – Microbial Ecologist

Renate Ysseldyk – Social and Health Psychologist