Ann Kring, Professor

Open (1) Motivation and Emotional Expression in Schizophrenia

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia, such as social withdrawal, diminished emotional expressivity, and deficits in motivation, can have devastating effects on social and occupational functioning. To better understand the nature of negative symptoms, the following projects explore how people with schizophrenia 1) describe their social relationships and 2) regulate their emotional experience and expression.

We will be working on two different projects together.


Utilizing responses to clinical interviews that assess for motivation, pleasure, and emotion expression, we intend to study how people with schizophrenia communicate about their social lives. Research assistants will assist in the implementation of a coding system of interview responses.

Though emotional expressivity deficits in schizophrenia have been well established, relatively little is known about how people with schizophrenia increase and decrease their experience and expression of emotion to meet contextual demands. Before we can tackle this issue, we first need to better understand how people without schizophrenia do this. The current study will explore the role of situational factors in the regulation of emotion in college students. Research assistants will be responsible for assisting in study design, data collection, and data management.

Research assistants will also participate in weekly meetings to discuss relevant background readings in the domains of emotion regulation and motivation. Other duties may include document preparation and literature reviews. Through participation in the described projects, research assistants will become familiar with the clinical research process and learn more about social and emotional processes in schizophrenia.



Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Lauren Weittenhiller, Graduate Student

Qualifications: We are seeking motivated students with an interest in psychology, and availability with class schedules to accommodate session scheduling throughout the week. Punctuality, professionalism, and a careful and conscientious demeanor are imperative. Strong interpersonal skills and a comfort with interacting with research participants is required.

Weekly Hours: 9-12 hrs

Related website: http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~akring/

Closed (2) Behavioral Correlates of Reappraisal and Motivation

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Schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder that affects about 1% of the population. Some of the symptoms of schizophrenia are resistant to treatment such as social withdrawal and anhedonia. We are seeking potential ways to improve these social symptoms by first examining the mechanisms of social behavior in healthy populations and then extending these experiments to include patient populations.

Although social stress typically evokes negative emotions such as anxiety and fear, they can lead to sense of excitement and fulfillment when viewed positively. One strategy of reframing the social stress to be more positive is reappraisal. Reappraisal is one form of emotion regulation that refers to changing one’s thoughts about a situation to change how one feels. This project aims to study how manipulating various strategies of reappraisal can improve people’s performance and persistence in pursuing social stress using variants of the Trier Social Stress Task. We will gather and code psychophysiological, behavioral, and experiential data from the social behavioral experiment to assess the effectiveness of the reappraisal mechanism and whether reappraisal predicts future engagement in social stress.


We are seeking undergraduates who are dedicated, hard-working, and reliable. Students will have the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and gain valuable research experience in the field of psychology. Student’s duties involve running experiments, data entry, data management and data analysis. Students will also be expected to review literature on relevant topics, help with study design, and attend and participate actively in lab meetings. Extremely motivated and dedicated students may have the opportunity to present posters and write manuscripts from the results gathered. Other administrative duties include filing and organizing documents and other general management duties for the project.


Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Brandon Chuang

Qualifications: We are seeking motivated students with an interest in psychology, and availability with class schedules to accommodate session scheduling throughout the week (6-9 hours). Punctuality, professionalism, and a careful and conscientious demeanor, and attention to detail are imperative. Strong interpersonal skills and a comfort with interacting with research participants and staff is required.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs

Open (3) Emotion Regulation and Health Behaviors in Everyday Life

Open. Apprentices needed for the fall semester. Please do NOT contact faculty before September 11th (the start of the 4th week of classes)! Enter your application on the web beginning August 16th. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 29th at 8 AM.

Research has increasingly focused on the importance of context and flexibility in the study of emotion regulation, with different emotion regulation strategies being more or less adaptive in different settings. This project will use an experience sampling methodology to explore nuances in patterns of emotion regulation strategy use, responses to emotions, and health-related behaviors and attitudes (such as eating, exercise, substance use, and body image) in everyday life, providing insights into factors that may contribute to physical and mental well-being and mental health conditions like eating disorders.

We are seeking one research assistant to assist with running the study, data management, and data analysis. This student will also be expected to contribute to review and discussion of relevant literature and attend and participate in lab meetings. They will have the opportunity to learn about statistical techniques related to analysis of nested data and research on health behaviors, disordered eating, and emotion regulation. If interested and motivated, this student may also have the opportunity to develop and explore additional hypotheses related to the collected data (e.g. for a poster presentation).

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Megan Mikhail, Staff Researcher

Qualifications: We are seeking a motivated student with an interest in psychology and availability with their class schedule to accommodate session scheduling throughout the week. Punctuality, attention to detail, professionalism, and a careful and conscientious demeanor are imperative. Strong interpersonal skills and a comfort with interacting with research participants is required. Curiosity, initiative, and a desire to learn are highly valued.

Weekly Hours: 6-9 hrs