Erik C Nook

Erik C Nook
Princeton University | PU · Department of Psychology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

40
Publications
19,006
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
766
Citations
Citations since 2016
36 Research Items
758 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
Introduction
I'm interested in (1) how language and emotion interact, (2) how emotions change across development, and (3) how we can apply social norms to improve health and well-being. My research uses both behavioral and neural approaches to understand these basic phenomena in order to inform theories and applications that ultimately improve mental and physical health. As a clinical psychologist, I also use CBT, DBT, and mindfulness approaches to affective and personality disorders.
Additional affiliations
July 2021 - June 2022
Yale University
Position
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
August 2014 - June 2021
Harvard University
Position
  • PhD Student
August 2012 - August 2014
Stanford University
Position
  • Laboratory Manager
Education
August 2014 - May 2020
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Clinical Psychology
August 2008 - May 2012
Columbia University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
How do people represent their own and others' emotional experiences? Contemporary emotion theories and growing evidence suggest that the conceptual representation of emotion plays a central role in how people understand the emotions both they and other people feel.1-6 Although decades of research indicate that adults typically represent emotion con...
Article
Full-text available
Obesity contributes to 2.8 million deaths annually, making interventions to promote healthy eating critical. Although preliminary research suggests that social norms influence eating behavior, the underlying psychological and neural mechanisms of such conformity remain unexplored. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate...
Article
Full-text available
Effective emotion regulation is critical for mental health and well-being, rendering insight into underlying mechanisms that facilitate this crucial skill invaluable. We combined principles of cognitive linguistics and basic affective science to test whether shifting components of one’s language might foster effective emotion regulation. In particu...
Article
Full-text available
Decades ago, the "New Look" movement challenged how scientists thought about vision by suggesting that conceptual processes shape visual perceptions. Currently, affective scientists are likewise debating the role of concepts in emotion perception. Here, we utilized a repetition-priming paradigm in conjunction with signal detection and individual di...
Article
Generosity is contagious: People imitate others’ prosocial behaviors. However, research on such prosocial conformity focuses on cases in which people merely reproduce others’ positive actions. Hence, we know little about the breadth of prosocial conformity. Can prosocial conformity cross behavior types or even jump from behavior to affect? Five stu...
Article
Humans influence each other’s emotions. The spread of emotion is well documented across behavioral, psychophysiological, and neuroscientific levels of analysis, but might this influence also be evident in language (e.g., are people more likely to use emotion words after hearing someone else use them)? The current study tests whether mothers and chi...
Article
Examining the linguistic characteristics of youths' writing may be a promising method for detecting youth who are struggling. In this study, we examined linguistic patterns of adolescent responses to writing prompts in a large, well-powered trial of an evidence-based, digital single-session intervention teaching malleability beliefs about personal...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Using language to “distance” ourselves from distressing situations (i.e., by talking less about ourselves and the present moment) can help us manage emotions. Here, we translate this basic research to discover that such “linguistic distancing” is a replicable measure of mental health in a large set of therapy transcripts ( N = 6,229)....
Preprint
Examining the linguistic characteristics of youths’ writing may be a promising method for detecting youth who are struggling. In this study, we examined linguistic patterns of adolescent responses to writing prompts in a large, well-powered trial of an evidence- based, digital single-session intervention teaching malleability beliefs about personal...
Article
Full-text available
We still have little understanding of short-term predictors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). Prior research links increased negative affect to STBs, but the vast majority of earlier work is limited by measuring negative affect at one time point and aiming to predict STBs months or years in the future. Recently, intensive longitudinal stud...
Article
Stressful life events (SLEs) are strongly associated with the emergence of adolescent anxiety and depression, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, especially at the within-persons level. We investigated how adolescent social communication (i.e., frequency of calls and texts) following SLEs relates to changes in internalizing symp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Using language to distance oneself from negative stimuli (e.g., by reducing use of the word “I” and present-tense verbs) is associated with effective emotion regulation. Given that internalizing disorders like anxiety and depression are characterized by maladaptive emotion regulation, stronger linguistic distance may be both a diagnostic marker of...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of research identifies emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s emotions—as a key skill for well-being. High emotion differentiation is associated with healthier and more effective regulation of one’s emotions, and low emotion differentiation has been documented in several forms of psychopathology. However,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Individuals modulate their facial emotion expressions in the presence of other people. Does this social tuning reflect changes in emotional experiences or attempts to communicate emotions to others? Here, “target” participants underwent facial electromyography (EMG) recording while viewing emotion-inducing images, believing they were either visible...
Preprint
Full-text available
A growing body of research identifies emotion differentiation—the ability to specifically identify one’s emotions—as a key skill for well-being. High emotion differentiation is associated with healthier and more effective regulation of one’s emotions, and low emotion differentiation has been documented in several forms of psychopathology. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Friends and therapists often encourage people in distress to say how they feel (i.e., name their emotions) with the hope that identifying their emotions will help them cope. Although lay and some psychological theories posit that emotion naming should facilitate subsequent emotion regulation, there is little research directly testing this question....
Article
Attention biases to emotion are associated with symptoms of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology in children and adolescents. It is unknown whether attention biases to emotion and their associations with different symptoms of psychopathology vary across development from early childhood through young adulthood. We examine this age-related...
Preprint
Stressful life events (SLEs) are strongly associated with the emergence of adolescent anxiety and depression, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood, especially at the within-person level. We investigated how adolescent social communication (i.e., frequency of calls and texts) following SLEs relates to changes in internalizing sympt...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to stressful life events is strongly associated with internalizing psychopathology, and identifying factors that reduce vulnerability to stress-related internalizing problems is critical for development of early interventions. Drawing on research from affective science, we tested whether high emotion differentiation—the ability to specific...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to identify and label one’s emotions is associated with effective emotion regulation, rendering emotional awareness important for mental health. We evaluated how emotional awareness was related to psychopathology and whether low emotional awareness was a transdiagnostic mechanism explaining the increase in psychopathology during the tra...
Article
Full-text available
Although common sense suggests that we are motivated to pursue positive and avoid negative experiences, previous research shows that people regularly seek out negative experiences. In the current study, we characterized this tendency from childhood to young adulthood. Due to the known increases in risky behavior and sensation seeking in adolescence...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined two facets of emotion development: emotion word comprehension (knowing the meaning of emotion words such as “anger” or “excitement”) and emotion concept abstraction (representing emotions in terms of internal psychological states that generalize across situations). Using a novel emotion vocabulary assessment, we captured how a c...
Chapter
The sixth edition of the foundational reference on cognitive neuroscience, with entirely new material that covers the latest research, experimental approaches, and measurement methodologies. Each edition of this classic reference has proved to be a benchmark in the developing field of cognitive neuroscience. The sixth edition of The Cognitive Neuro...
Article
Full-text available
Regulating one’s emotions is an important psychological skill at all ages. Cognitive reappraisal—changing the meaning of a stimulus to alter its emotional impact—is an effective emotion regulation technique. Prior work shows that adults spontaneously reduce their use of present tense verbs and first-person singular pronouns (e.g., “I,” “me,” “mine”...
Chapter
Full-text available
Language is known to play an important role in communicating our thoughts, memories, and emotions. This chapter proposes that the role of language extends much more deeply to further shape and constitutively create these mental phenomena. Research on emotion has shown that language can powerfully influence experiences and perceptions that are affec...
Preprint
Full-text available
Exposure to stressful life events is strongly associated with internalizing psychopathology, and identifying factors that reduce vulnerability to stress-related internalizing problems is critical for development of early interventions. Drawing on research from affective science, we tested whether high emotion differentiation—the ability to specific...
Chapter
Emotion concepts are the internally held representations of what defines any given emotion. Contemporary emotion theories posit that emotion concepts occupy a central role in shaping our perceptions and experiences of emotion. However, like other concepts, emotion concepts actively change over the life course. Here, we review classic and contempora...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ability to identify and label one’s emotions is a precursor to effective emotion regulation, suggesting that emotional awareness is important for mental health. We evaluated how emotional awareness was related to psychopathology and whether low emotional awareness was a transdiagnostic mechanism explaining the increase in psychopathology during...
Article
People differ in how specifically they separate affective experiences into different emotion types—a skill called emotion differentiation or emotional granularity. Although increased emotion differentiation has been associated with positive mental health outcomes, little is known about its development. Participants (N = 143) between the ages of 5 a...
Article
Understanding the specific mechanisms that explain why people who have relatives with schizophrenia (i.e., people at familial high risk; FHR) are more likely to develop the disorder is crucial for prevention. We investigated a diathesis-stress model of familial risk by testing whether FHR individuals under-recruit brain regions central to emotion r...
Poster
Full-text available
Emotional Granularity (EG; aka Emotional Differentiation) is the ability to differentiate emotion states. Poor EG has been linked to a variety of psychiatric illnesses, including depression, borderline personality disorder, and substance use. Kimhy et al (2014) found that EG was relatively intact in Schizophrenia but affected social functioning. Pr...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe chiropractic care use at the World Games 2013. Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed treatment charts of athletes and non-athletes who sought chiropractic care at The World Games in Cali, Colombia, from July 25 to August 4, 2013. Doctors of chiropractic of the International Federat...
Article
The demands of social life often require categorically judging whether someone's continuously varying facial movements express "calm" or "fear," or whether one's fluctuating internal states mean one feels "good" or "bad." In two studies, we asked whether this kind of categorical, "black and white," thinking can shape the perception and neural repre...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Images of negative, global events spread rapidly across online social networks, reaching people worldwide. Two mechanisms of social influence—conformity and emotional contagion—could explain why negative stimuli spreads rapidly online, and the impact on users. We investigate how these processes shape how people decide what information is ‘threatening’ and how distressed they feel about online information
Project
This project aims to clarify how words and linguistic categories shape emotional experiences and emotion regulation. Studies draw upon the constructionist theory of emotions to investigate how conceptualizing emotions within verbal labels might transform the nature of affect.
Project
Using fMRI and behavioral methods, we seek to understand how social norms can be used to guide positive and healthy behaviors. Projects focus on the impact of norms on food preferences, prosocial behavior, empathy, and worry.