Christian E Waugh

Christian E Waugh
Wake Forest University | WFU · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

69
Publications
31,954
Reads
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7,040
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - present
Wake Forest University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2010 - July 2016
Wake Forest University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
July 2006 - July 2010
Stanford University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
September 2001 - June 2006
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1996 - May 2000
College of William and Mary
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Full-text available
Although reappraisal has been shown to be a highly successfully emotion regulation strategy, it requires several sequential steps, and it is still unclear when in the reappraisal process emotion changes. We experimentally dissociated the generation of reappraisals from their implementation and hypothesized that the biggest emotional effects would o...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic was a novel chronic stressor that necessitated figuring out how to cope with it. We hypothesized that disengagement coping - coping with a stressor by disengaging from it - would be effective because the pandemic featured heightened uncertainty and enduring intensity. Design: We assessed the disengagement strate...
Article
Full-text available
Studies suggest that deficits in startle reflex habituation occur in trait and clinical anxiety. Measures of habituation are affected by the magnitude of the initial response, with larger initial responses predicting a steeper decline in response over repeated trials. This relationship between initial value and change, commonly called the Law of In...
Article
Negative interpersonal events, such as close relationship conflicts, can threaten one’s affective and social well-being. To improve affect and to maintain valuable relationships, individuals could select different reappraisal tactics. One could use positive reappraisal to find potential benefits of the event (e.g. “This conflict helps our relations...
Book
This book features cutting edge research on the theory and measurement of affect dynamics from the leading experts in this emerging field. Authors will discuss how affect dynamics are instantiated across neural, psychological and behavioral levels of processing and provide state of the art analytical and computational techniques for assessing tempo...
Article
Although affect labelling has been widely reported to decrease negative emotions, it is less clear whether affect labelling also decreases positive emotions. In four studies, we explored how affect labelling (choosing the emotion that best corresponds with the image), content labelling (choosing the word that best corresponds with the content of th...
Article
Full-text available
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a large portion of the world into quarantine, leading to an extensive period of stress making it necessary to explore regulatory techniques that are effective at stimulating long-lasting positive emotion. Previous research has demonstrated that anticipating positive events produces increases in positive e...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives Advanced age is generally associated with improved emotional well-being, but the COVID-19 pandemic unleashed a global stressor that gravely threatened the physical well-being and ostensibly challenged the emotional well-being of older adults disproportionately. The current study investigated differences in emotional experi...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a preregistered multi-laboratory project (k = 36; N = 3531) to assess the size and robustness of ego depletion effects using a novel replication method, termed the paradigmatic replication approach. Laboratories implemented one of two procedures that intended to manipulate self control and tested performance on a subsequent measure of...
Article
Caregivers of children with chronic illnesses experience elevated stress and reduced self-care. Although self-care can be beneficial, it is a form of disengagement coping, disengaging from the stressor to try and feel better, which has been characterized as a maladaptive coping strategy. In this study, we test the formulation that avoidance, avoidi...
Article
Full-text available
Background. Positive distraction involves distracting oneself from a stressor by thinking about or engaging in activities that induce positive emotion. We hypothesized that although it is a disengagement coping strategy, which have been historically viewed as maladaptive (e.g., avoidance), positive distraction can be an adaptive version that predic...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of a script-based communicative intervention (SBCI) on psychological and cultural adaptation in students studying abroad in second language (German and Spanish) contexts. Regardless of language proficiency, students with exposure to the SBCI, relative to those without the intervention, exhibited higher well-being and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although research has shown that positive emotions (PEs) can help people cope with negative events, there is not yet a systematic framework for understanding how and when they might do so. In this article, I propose such a framework by suggesting that PEs can play 3 roles when people attempt to regulate their emotional response to negative events....
Article
Mindfulness meditation is a self-regulatory practice premised on sustaining nonreactive awareness of arising sensory events that reliably reduces pain. Yet, the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness have not been comprehensively disentangled from the potential nonspecific factors supporting this technique. Increased parasympathetic n...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have identified two powerful ways to regulate emotional responses to a stressor: experiencing incidental positive emotions and using cognitive reappraisal to reframe the stressor. Several cognitive and motivational theories of positive emotion support the formulation that incidental positive emotions may facilitate cognitive reappr...
Article
Full-text available
Despite accruing evidence showing that positive emotions facilitate stress recovery, the neural basis for this effect remains unclear. To identify the underlying mechanism, we compared stress recovery for people reflecting on a stressor while in a positive emotional context with that for people in a neutral context. While BOLD data were being colle...
Article
Full-text available
Determining how people maintain positive and negative emotional states is critical to understanding emotional dynamics, individual differences in emotion, and the instrumental value of emotions. There has been a surge in interest in tasks assessing affective working memory that can examine how people maintain stimulus-independent positive and negat...
Article
Full-text available
Assessing emotional dynamics in the brain offers insight into the fundamental neural and psychological mechanisms underlying emotion. One such dynamic is emotional inertia—the influence of one's emotional state at one time point on one's emotional state at a subsequent time point. Emotion inertia reflects emotional rigidity and poor emotion regulat...
Article
Exposure to acute stress induces multiple emotional responses, each with their own unique temporal dynamics. Dynamic functional connectivity (dFC) measures the temporal variability of network synchrony and captures individual differences in network neurodynamics. This study investigated the relationship between dFC and individual differences in emo...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Strategy-situation fit, or contextual coping, posits that the physical and psychological demands associated with stressors are determined in part by the characteristics of each stress situation and may therefore require the use of different coping strategies. In this review, we discuss strategy-situation fit in the context of both natur...
Article
Full-text available
Age differences in responses to framed health messages-which can influence judgments and decisions-are critical to understand yet relatively unexplored. Age-related emotional shifts toward positivity would be expected to differentially impact the affective responses of older and younger adults to framed messages. In this study, we measured the subj...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion regulation theories posit that strategies like reappraisal should impact both the intensity and duration of emotional responses. However, research on reappraisal to date has examined almost exclusively its effect on the intensity of responses while failing to examine its effect on the duration of responses. To address this, we used inverse...
Article
Full-text available
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are highly comorbid; we know little, however, about the shared physiological features of these disorders. In the present study, we examined whether aberrant parasympathetic stress responsivity represents a transdiagnostic process in MDD, GAD, and co-occurring MDD-GAD. Adult wome...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion theorists have long held that a fundamental characteristic of an emotion is how its constituent processes change and interact over time. Assessing these temporal dynamics of emotion in the brain is critical for understanding the neural representation of emotions as well as advancing theories of emotional processing. We review the neuroimagi...
Article
Interpreting ambiguous stimuli in a negative manner is a core bias associated with depression. Investigators have used cognitive bias modification for interpretation (CBM-I) to demonstrate that it is possible to experimentally induce and modify these biases. This study extends previous research by examining whether CBM-I affects not only interpreta...
Article
The few studies examining the impact of positive emotions on discrete stressors suggest that positive emotions improve stress responding. We hypothesized that merely anticipating a positive event would be sufficient to harness these benefits. In Study 1, we found that the anticipation of funny (relative to unfunny) cartoons increased positive emoti...
Article
Assessing neural commonalities and differences among depression, anxiety and their comorbidity is critical in developing a more integrative clinical neuroscience and in evaluating currently debated categorical vs dimensional approaches to psychiatric classification. Therefore, in this study, we sought to identify patterns of anomalous neural respon...
Article
Full-text available
A significant proportion of people in remission from depression will experience a recurrence of depression. One theoretical mechanism for this recurrence is that with each additional episode of depression, people become more sensitive to the deleterious effects of less powerful stressors. We propose that research on resilience – the ability to adap...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence is accruing that people can maintain their emotional states, but how they do it and which brain regions are responsible still remains unclear. We examined whether people maintain emotional states ‘actively’, with explicit elaboration of the emotion, or ‘passively’, without elaboration. Twenty-four participants completed an emotion maintena...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological interest in the impact of mental states on biological functioning is growing rapidly, driving a need for new methods for inducing mental states that last long enough, and are sufficiently impactful, to have significant effects on physical health. The many traditions of meditative practice are one potential pathway for studying mind‐bo...
Article
Identifying factors that may protect individuals from developing Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the face of stress is critical. In the current study we experimentally tested whether such a potentially protective factor, engaging in acute exercise, reduces the adverse effects of repeated sad mood inductions in individuals who have recovered from...
Article
Full-text available
Despite advances in neurobiological research on Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder, little is known about the neural functioning of individuals with comorbid depression/social anxiety. We examined the timing of neural responses to social stress in individuals with major depression and/or social anxiety. We hypothesized that havin...
Article
Full-text available
Lindquist et al. provide a compelling summary of the brain bases of the onset of emotion. Their conclusions, however, are constrained by typical fMRI techniques that do not assess a key ingredient in emotional experience - timing. We discuss the importance of timing in theories of emotion as well as the implications of neural temporal dynamics for...
Article
Children of depressed parents are significantly more likely to develop depression and other mental health disorders than are children of never-depressed parents. Investigations of the physiological mechanisms underlying this elevated risk have generally focused on basal functioning. It is important to note, however, that physiological reactivity or...
Article
Anhedonia, the lack of interest or pleasure in response to hedonic stimuli or experiences, is a cardinal symptom of depression. This deficit in hedonic processing has been posited to influence depressed individuals' motivation to engage in potentially rewarding experiences. Accumulating evidence indicates that hedonic processing is not a unitary co...
Article
Full-text available
Field studies and laboratory experiments have documented that a key component of resilience is emotional flexibility--the ability to respond flexibly to changing emotional circumstances. In the present study we tested the hypotheses that resilient people exhibit emotional flexibility: (a) in response to frequently changing emotional stimuli and (b)...
Article
The nonapeptide oxytocin and its receptor have been implicated in the regulation of mammalian social behavior and stress physiology. Evidence is accumulating that the quality of the parental environment is associated with oxytocin biology in children. The present study was designed to examine the interaction of the single nucleotide polymorphism (S...
Article
Diffusion tensor imaging is widely used to evaluate the development of white matter. Information about how alterations in major neurotransmitter systems, such as the dopamine (DA) system, influence this development in healthy children, however, is lacking. Catechol-O-metyltransferase (COMT) is the major enzyme responsible for DA degradation in pref...
Article
Individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) often ruminate about their depression and their life situations, impairing their concentration and performance on daily tasks. We examined whether rumination might be due to a deficit in the ability to expel negative information from short-term memory (STM), and fMRI was used to examine the...
Article
Anticipating a stressor elicits robust cardiovascular and affective responses. Despite the possibility that recovery from these responses may have implications for physical and mental well-being, little research has examined this issue. In this study, participants either gave a public speech or anticipated giving a speech. Compared with speech-give...
Article
The broaden hypothesis, part of Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory, proposes that positive emotions lead to broadened cognitive states. Here, we present evidence that cognitive broadening can be produced by frequent facial expressions of positive emotion. Additionally, we present a novel method of using facial electromyography (EMG...
Article
Despite the fact that emotions involve multiple time-varying components, little is known about the underlying neural basis of these temporal dynamics. In this paper, we assess these temporal dynamics by using time-varying hemodynamic response functions (HRF) to model BOLD responses to emotional stimuli. We show that these time-varying HRFs lead to...
Article
Social threat is a key component of mental “stress” and a potent generator of negative emotions and physiological responses in the body. How the human brain processes social context and drives peripheral physiology, however, is relatively poorly understood. Human neuroimaging and animal studies implicate the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC),...
Article
Low perceived social acceptance is a significant risk factor for emotional difficulties in children. No studies, however, have examined genetic factors that may underlie individual differences in perceived social acceptance. In the present study we examined the relation between polymorphisms on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and...
Article
Levels of extra-synaptic dopamine in the brain vary as a function of polymorphisms at the val158met locus of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. In vivo studies of this polymorphism in the human brain have typically measured patterns of neural activation during dopamine-mediated tasks in adults. This study is the first to investigate the...
Article
Testosterone moderates behavioral and physiological responses to the emotion anger. However, little is known about the effects of testosterone in the human brain in the context of the perception of anger. We used fMRI to measure BOLD responses to anger faces in the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) as a function of endogenous test...
Article
Social threat is a key component of mental "stress" and a potent generator of negative emotions and physiological responses in the body. How the human brain processes social context and drives peripheral physiology, however, is relatively poorly understood. Human neuroimaging and animal studies implicate the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC),...
Article
Recent studies investigating the neurobiology of reward motivation in animals have begun to deconstruct reward into separable neural systems involving the ‘liking’ of a reward (hedonic enjoyment of consumption) versus the ‘wanting’ of a reward (incentive salience to obtain reward). To date, however, it is unclear whether these systems are also sepa...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested the hypothesis that implicit power motivation (nPower), in interaction with power incentives, influences activation of brain systems mediating motivation. Twelve individuals low (lowest quartile) and 12 individuals high (highest quartile) in nPower, as assessed per content coding of picture stories, were selected from a larger ini...
Article
Full-text available
A facet of emotional resilience critical for adapting to adversity is flexible use of emotional resources. We hypothesized that in threatening situations, this emotional flexibility enables resilient people to use emotional resources during appropriately emotional events, and conserve emotional resources during innocuous events. We tested this hypo...
Article
Following highly negative events, people are deemed resilient if they maintain psychological stability and experience fewer mental health problems. The current research investigated how trait resilience (Block & Kremen, 1996, ER89) influences recovery from anticipated threats. Participants viewed cues ('aversive', 'threat', 'safety') that signified...
Article
The general linear model (GLM) approach has arguably become the dominant way to analyze functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data. It tests whether activity in a brain region is systematically related to some known input function. However, the GLM becomes impractical when the precise timing and duration of psychological events cannot be spe...
Article
Full-text available
Based on Fredrickson's ((199824. Fredrickson , BL . 1998. What good are positive emotions?. Review of General Psychology, 2: 300–319. [CrossRef], [PubMed]View all references). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.; (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of pos...
Article
Full-text available
Extrapolating from B. L. Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, the authors hypothesized that positive emotions are active ingredients within trait resilience. U.S. college students (18 men and 28 women) were tested in early 2001 and again in the weeks following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Mediational an...
Article
Extrapolating from B. L. Fredrickson's (1998, 2001) broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, the authors hypothesized that positive emotions are active ingredients within trait resilience. U.S. college students (18 men and 28 women) were tested in early 2001 and again in the weeks following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Mediational an...
Article
On the basis of an evolutionary theory of self-esteem (SE), it was hypothesized that the SE-aggression relationship differs across functionally distinct domains of SE and across contexts. In 2 experiments, participants had the opportunity to aggress against the evaluator of an essay they had written. In Study 1, self-perceived superiority was posit...
Article
On the basis of an evolutionary theory of self-esteem (SE), it was hypothesized that the SE-aggression relationship differs across functionally distinct domains of SE and across contexts. In 2 experiments, participants had the opportunity to aggress against the evaluator of an essay they had written. In Study 1, self-perceived superiority was posit...

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