DU Professor Awarded National Science Foundation Award
Kateri McRae, associate professor of psychology, has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to investigate the effects of process facilitation on emotion regulation. In this research, she hopes to identify ways to facilitate the parts of the brain that support reappraisal.
Cognitive reappraisal involves changing how you think about something in order to change how you feel about it. For example, receiving a poor grade and telling yourself that instead of a failure this is an opportunity to learn and improve.
The grant includes funding for an undergraduate course in service learning.
“As part of the course, undergraduates will learn about emotion regulation and make informational videos to distribute to the community,” said McRae.
McRae’s interest in emotion regulation stems in part from her undergraduate days as a drama student. She was curious whether acting requires emotion regulation, so when the first psychology lab she volunteered in was researching how emotions and cognition interact in the brain, she was hooked.
The National Science Foundation CAREER Award provides McRae with five years of funding, allowing for the in-depth thinking that goes into experimentation, and for interpretation of results before the next round of experiments. The award also gives her and her students protected time to conduct research amid their other responsibilities. McRae will be manipulating the immediate context (what a person is doing right before they try to reappraise) to identify a variety of ways that reappraisal can be improved.