BLEAP

Principal Investigators: Dr. James Diller and Dr. Kristi Salters-Pedneault
Lab Location: Goddard 208 & 209

Dr. Diller’s research activity focuses on the conditions under which maladaptive choices are made. Specifically, he is interested in impulsive behavior, which is defined as the selection of a smaller, more immediate reward over a larger, more delayed reward. In a 2011 paper (Diller, Patros, & Prentice), we explored the relation between impulsivity and physiological responses to stress. Specifically we found that higher levels of changes in heart rate during stress are associated with higher levels of impulsivity in females. This study evaluated the biological correlates of impulsive behavior, which may have implications with respect to drugs of abuse.

Dr. Salters-Pedneault’s research focuses on the role of emotion and emotional avoidance in chronic anxiety. She also explores ways to improve existing cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for anxiety disorders. Dr. Salters-Pedneault conducts survey research, laboratory-based experimental psychopathology studies, and clinical research. Examples of her recent work include a series of studies on assault survivors’ course of recovery after sexual assault, the development and implementation of a secondary prevention program for returning veterans, and a clinical trial exploring the efficacy of a medication (d-cycloserine) to improve the outcome of exposure-based CBT for combat veterans with PTSD.

As an example of the collaborative work we do (currently under review), Drs. Diller and Salters-Pedneault explored the relation between the avoidance of delayed aversive events (electric shocks) and participant’s ability to regulate their emotional responses. Here, putting off that bad thing and facing a worse, delayed outcome, is the impulsive choice. We found that individuals who were more impulsive tended to have greater difficulty regulating their emotions and dealing with uncomfortable experiences.

If you are interested in working as a Research Assistant in the lab, please complete the application found HERE.

Selected Faculty Publications & Presentations

* indicates a student co-author

  • Salters-Pedneault, K. & Diller, J. W. (2012). Anxiety, negative affect, and experiential avoidance predict discounting of delayed aversive outcomes. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. National Harbor, MD, November 15-18, 2012.
  • *Farnsworth, T. & Diller, J. W. (2012). Attention influences probability discounting. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the New England Psychology Assocation, Worcester, MA, October 12-13, 2012.
  • Diller, J. W., Salters-Pedneault, K., & *Nuzzolilli, A. E. (2012). One shock now or three later? Choice between aversive events in college students. Poster presented at the 38th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Seattle, WA, May 24-28, 2012.
  • *Griffin, M. M. & Diller, J. W. (2012). Acceptability of behavioral interventions for Alzheimer’s disease. Poster presented at the 8th anual meeting of Connecticut Assocation for Behavior Analysis. Cromwell, CT, March 9, 2012.
  • *Patros, C. H. G. & Diller, J. W. (2011). Inconsistent response patterns in a computerized temporal discounting task. Poster presented at the 37th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Denver, CO, May 27-31, 2011.
  • Diller, J. W., *Patros, C. H. & *Gale, M. M. (2010). An investigation of delay discounting and cardiovascular reactivity. Poster presented at the 36th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. San Antonio, TX, May 28-June 1, 2010.

Selected Student Publications & Presentations

  • Brown, R. M. (2011). Treatment acceptability for problem behavior in children. Poster presentation at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Ithaca, NY.
  • Brown, R. M. (2011). Relations between emotional regulation, worrying, and acceptance in a college sample. Oral presentation at the Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition. Willimantic, CT.
  • Brozyna, G. (2010). The relation between academic discounting and delay discounting. The Undergraduate Journal of Psychology, 23, 61-71.
  • Castagna, P. (2012). The relation between perceived monitoring and level of risk-taking. Poster presented at the 15th annual Connecticut State University Psychology Day. New Haven, CT.
  • Farnsworth, T. (2012). Attentional factors influence probability discounting. Poster presented at the 15th annual Connecticut State University Psychology Day. New Haven, CT.
  • Gale, M. (2010). Investigation of factors affecting behavioral stability. Poster presentation at the Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition. Willimantic, CT.
  • Griffin, M. M. (2012). Acceptability of behavioral interventions for Alzheimer’s Disease. Oral presentation at the Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition. Willimantic, CT.
  • Ingoglia, M. (2010). Androgyny and conformity in female college students. Oral presentation at the 13th annual Connecticut State University Psychology Day. New Britain, CT.
  • Ingoglia, M. (2010). Androgyny and conformity in female college students. Oral presentation at the Arts and Sciences Research Conference and Exhibition. Willimantic, CT.
  • Nuzzolilli, A.E. (2011). Effects of alcohol expectancy on impulsivity and risky behavior. Oral presentation at the 14th annual Connecticut State University Psychology Day. Danbury, CT.
  • Patros, C. H. (2011). Temporal discounting & cardiovascular reactivity. Poster presented at the Council of Undergraduate Research Posters on the Hill Conference. Washington, D.C.

Alumni

Brendan Broadbin (Fall 2010)
Robert Brown (Spring 2010 – Spring 2011)
Stephanie Burelle (Fall 2011 – Spring 2012)
Peter Castagna (Fall 2011 – Spring 2012)
Jordan Deckert (Fall 2010 – Spring 2011)
James DeLeon (Spring 2010 – Fall 2010)
Eris Dodds (Fall 2011)
Thomas Farnsworth (Spring 2012 – Fall 2012)
Michael Gale (Spring 2009)
Danielle Gillespie (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013)
Melissa Griffin (Spring 2012)
Ryan Harrington (Fall 2012)
Melissa Ingoglia (Fall 2009)
Samantha James Leen (Fall 2011)
Katherine Markley (Fall 2011)
Andrew Nuzzolilli (Fall 2010 – Spring 2011)
Connor Patros (Spring 2009 – Fall 2010)
Kellsie Reimondo (Spring 2012 – Fall 2012)
Sarah Salois (Fall 2010 – Spring 2011)
Broderick Sawyer (Fall 2011 – Spring 2012)
Joy Fleming Zuzel (Fall 2010)

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