To Learn What Emotions Are and What They Do
— Was your decision to choose this topic for research emotional or rational?
We have become interested in studying the effects of emotion in decision making because models of rational choice do a bad job explaining the behavior of individuals. We believe that emotions provide insight into people's goals and concerns and as such they provide an important input in everyday decision processes.
— How would you explain the idea of "a feeling is for doing approach" in a few words for non-specialists?
If one wishes to understand emotions, what they are and what they do, it is instructive to study how they are felt. Our approach is influenced by Nico Frijda's emotion theory and William James' ideas about pragmatism. We believe that emotions are signals about our concerns being threatened (or served), and that emotions also provide information about what to do to in order to achieve our goals (or continue to achieve our goals). In short, we think that emotions have evolved to provide behavioral guidance.
— What are the major findings in your research?
Specific emotions that resemble each other, such as regret and disappointment, or guilt and shame, still involve different experiences and hence also prioritize different behaviors to act on the concerns that are represented by the different emotions. We have now applied our theory to these emotions, and to envy, pride, greed and anger. The results are remarkable, and we continue to learn and be amazed by what emotions are and what they do. The study of emotions, in particular that of their behavioral consequences, proves to be rewarding and inspiring and there is still enough to do.
— What are the criteria chosen in your research? How do you prove your findings?
We are eclectic in our research. We do experiments in which we induce emotions and investigate how they influence behavior, but we also do survey research in which we ask about autobiographical recalls of emotions experiences. And, we also study the effects of emotion cross culturally. Together, these findings ideally triangulate and provide insight into the behavioral effects of specific emotions.
— How did your cooperation with the HSE start? What are the goals and further plans?
We first came to HSE in 2012 and taught about economic psychology and behavioral economics. We were very satisfied with this experience and the mutual interest in economic behavior and cross cultural studies. We hope to extend this collaboration in research and a dual degree program with Tilburg University and HSE. Russia is a huge country with an impressive history in psychology and we think that Tilburg University and HSE can cooperate and join forces to our joint benefit.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, especially for HSE news service
September 4, 2019 was a day of firsts for the School of Psychology and the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making. Zachary Yaple, who was born in the United States and grew up in England, defended his dissertation, 'Neurophysiological Correlates of Risky Decision-Making'. His defense marked the first PhD to be prepared at the Centre for Cognition and Decision Making and the first PhD to be awarded to an international student by the Doctoral School of Psychology.
When reading words on a screen, the human brain comprehends words placed on the right side of the screen faster. The total amount of presented information on the screen also affects the speed and accuracy of the brain’s ability to process words. These are the findings of HSE researchers Elena Gorbunova and Maria Falikman presented in an article that was published in the journal, Advances in Cognitive Psychology.
Educators do not always deal with student aggression in the most effective manner. Sometimes teachers resort to severe and unsystematic methods that only make the bullying worse. According to researchers of the HSE Laboratory for Prevention of Asocial Behavior, the problem requires a comprehensive approach: aggression prevention programmes need to be incorporated into educational policy, and, in turn, schools need to foster supportive psychological climate and trust between teachers and students.
More than 64% of employed Russians work evenings, nights or weekends, and this is one of the highest figures among European countries. Andrei Shevchuk and Anna Krasilnikova were the first to study the extent of nonstandard working hours in Russia and its impact on work-life balance.
Their initial tests were carried out with football fans, by measuring their emotional state. It turned out that, on average, uncertainty about a match result can increase the probability of unhappiness by 13.6%. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
For a long time, it was mainly art and theatre critics who wrote for a wide audience about dance from a spectator’s perspective. Later, philosophers and ethnographers began to study dance from different angles. But only when people with first-hand experience, i.e. dancers, joined in, did dance and movement studies get off to a real start. Irina Sirotkina explains how dance studies evolved in the 20th century.
Touching different types of surfaces may incur certain emotions. This was the conclusion made by psychologists in a recent empirical study. Previously, emotional perception was generally studied in relation to visual and audial modalities.
The round table on ‘Psychological Wellbeing in the Digital Age’ brought together a range of scholars and one industry professional to talk about how a user’s digital footprint—or ‘digital traces’—can be used to discern a person’s psychological state, predict their behavior, and, potentially, even improve their psychological wellbeing.
Researchers from the HSE Perm, in collaboration with an American colleague, confirmed the theory that impostor syndrome fully mediates the link between perfectionism and psychological distress
Abusive supervisors who undermine and bully employees cost U.S. corporations an estimated $24 billion annually. Evgenia Balabanova, Maria Borovik and Veronika Deminskaya are the first researchers to study the problem in Russia.