Pictured from left to right:
(Third Row) Peter Felsman, Jason Stornelli, David Lee, Josh Wondra, Darwin Guevarra

(Second Row) Izzy Gainsburg, Ariana Orvell, Dan Porter, Walter Sowden, Stephanie Carpenter, Walter Sowden, Joe Bayer

(Front) Dr. Ethan Kross, Adrienne Dougherty, Britney Wardecker, Meg Boyer, Elizabeth Kovan, Brittany Drake

Lab Director

  • Ethan Kross Ethan Kross, Ph.D.
    Download CV
  • Ethan received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is a Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan and the Director of the University of Michigan Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory. He is also a Faculty Associate at the University of Michigan’s Research Center for Group Dynamics, Center for Cultural Neuroscience, and Depression Research Center.

    The goal of Ethan’s research is to shed light on the psychological and physiological processes that allow people to control emotions that undermine their goals and compromise their health. He uses a variety of tools (e.g., behavioral, diary, physiological, neuroscience-fMRI methods) to address this issue and focuses on both normal-healthy and clinical populations.

    For an overview of current research projects in the lab, please visit the research page.

Post Doc

  • sowden_300px Walter Sowden, Ph.D.
  • Walter received his Ph.D in social psychology at the University of Michigan. The overarching question that drives his research is how does the interaction between our sociality and morality influence our psychology, behavior, social relationships, and well-being? Right now he is looking at how interpersonal relationships influence moral judgment and decision making.

  • BrianV Brian Vickers, Ph.D.
  • Brian received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan’s cognition and cognitive neuroscience program in the Department of Psychology. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Michigan’s Emotion and Self-Control laboratory studying emotional dynamics via multiple methods  (e.g., behavioral, physiological, fMRI). His primary interests involve emotions, decision making, and sustainability.

Graduate Students

  • pfelsman Peter Felsman
  • Peter is a doctoral student in Social Work and Social Psychology. Generally, he is interested in emotion regulation within the framework of positive psychology. This may involve creativity, music, passion, spirituality, and social networks, among other things. Through his current research, he is working to better understand the complexities of mindfulness in order to better contextualize its adaptive use.

  • image Izzy Gainsburg
  • Izzy is a third year doctoral student in Social Psychology. He studies how environmental cues affect feelings of belonging and threat, emotion-regulation strategies to cope with these feelings, and how to leverage social norms to make environments more welcoming.

  • Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.52.56 AM Darwin Guevarra
  • Darwin is a doctoral student in Social Psychology, and he is broadly interested in emotion, emotion regulation, and self-control. He is currently working on two lines of research. One involves understanding how placebo mechanisms can be applied in self-control and emotion regulation contexts. A second line of research involves understanding how beliefs about emotions and emotion regulation strategies influence their affective consequences. Please click here to view Darwin’s CV, and click here to access his website.

  • Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 9.51.47 AM Ariana Orvell
  • Ariana is a doctoral student in Social Psychology. She received her B.A. from Columbia University in 2011, and was a Teach For America corps member in New York City from 2011 to 2013. She is interested in how subtle shifts in a person’s language, construal, or the situation itself can impact their ability to exercise self-control. She is also interested in interventions that translate basic research to positively impact people’s well-being.

  • image Dan Porter
  • Dan is a fifth year graduate student pursuing a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience. Dan studies why people refuse help and how people’s experience with pain affects their empathy for others.

Lab Managers

  • DBCI1lVL Brittany Drake
  • Brittany is one of the lab managers for the Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory. She received her B.A. in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in May 2015. Her research interests include coping, resilience, and health-related outcomes associated with interpersonal loss, self-perception, as well as dehumanization, stigma, and empathy failure.

  • Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 4.41.18 PM Amy Erlich
  • Amy is one of the lab managers for the Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory. She received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Gender and Health from the University of Michigan in May 2016. She is interested in the social and emotional aspects of grief, as well as how emotion-regulation strategies can enhance overall well-being following distinct negative experiences.

Research Assistants


Jamison Chung, Joe Calabrisotto, Sharjil Shamim, Hannah Nelson, Jenna Mangle, Alyssa Murphy, Sarah Bronson, Trevor McCarty,

Tilbe Çakar, Jonathan Goldenberg, Kayla Bomeli, Omar Ilyas, Emily Seigel, Catherine Holt, Carolyn Busch, Emma Abed, Sarah Panone

(Not pictured) Joey Asker, Lauren Devereaux, Marlisa Gashaj, Olivia Furano


  • Joseph Bayer
  • Joseph received his Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan in 2016. Joseph is now an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University.

  • Ryan Bremner
  • Ryan received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas.

  • Julia Briskin
  • Julia was one of the lab managers for the Emotion & Self-Control Lab from August 2012 to August 2013. Currently, she is the lab manager for the Health, Attitudes & Influence Lab with Dr. Allison Earl.

  • Aleah Burson
  • Aleah received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2013. She is currently a Senior Medical Writer at Worldwide Clinical Trials.

  • Stephanie Carpenter
  • Stephanie received her Ph.D at the University of Michigan in Social Psychology and in the Department of Marketing in 2015. Stephanie is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Niedenthal Emotions Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Adrienne Dougherty
  • Adrienne completed the Social Psychology doctoral program at University of Michigan in 2016. Adrienne will be beginning a job at Whittier College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Fall 2016.

  • Igor Grossmann
  • Igor was a doctoral student in the lab and earned his Ph.D. in 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

  • Lori Hoggard
  • Lori was a doctoral student in the lab and earned her Ph.D. in 2013. She is currently a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

  • Emily Laura Kean
  • Emily worked in the lab as the lab manager from June 2009- August 2011. Emily is currently working on a Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan and will graduate in May 2013.

  • David Lee
  • David was a doctoral student in the lab and earned his Ph.D. in 2016. He is currently a Social Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ohio State University.