Research Interests

Emotion and Culture

In my research, I am primarily interested in the relationship between emotional processes and culture. In my earlier work as a Master’s student at San Francisco State University, in collaboration with an international team of researchers, we conducted a study on the cross-cultural similarities and differences in the structure and experience of awe, amusement, and pride in four drastically different cultures (i.e., Iran, Malaysia, Poland, and the US). This study was published in the journal Emotion and was briefly mentioned in this article in the Atlantic.

In other research, currently in press at Emotion, I collaborated with an amazing team of researchers including Isaac Young and Prof. Daniel Sullivan (University of Arizona) and Prof. Taya Cohen (Carnegie Mellon University) in a study on the relationship between individualism-collectivism and guilt and shame. See the post-print here and the data and R-code here.

Most recently, our long-term project investigating “the experiential advantage” across cultures was accepted in  Social Psychological and Personality Science. In this project, we tested the idea that spending money on experiences is more beneficial than spending money on materials (i.e., the experiential advantage) in three drastically different cultures. We took a methodological approach inspired by Rozin (2001), which we discuss extensively in the article. Previously, this research received the APA Division 52 first poster award during the 2018 WPA conference in Portland. Here’s a twitter thread that offers an overview of the paper. The post-print is available here and the data and R-code are here.

Emotional Reactions to Violations of Honor

Supervised by Prof. Sanjay Srivastava and in collaboration with Hadi Shaban-Azad, my colleague in Tehran, we have been studying the different types of situations that are perceived as violations of honor, and the different emotional reactions to such situations. In a series of multi-method studies, we have investigated this research question among Iranian adults. The results have led to important and novel theoretical insights which can expand the current understanding of honor cultures. We are currently preparing the manuscript for peer review, and will share the preprint as soon as possible. This research  won the best poster award at the 2019 conference of the Society for Affective Sciences, and the first place award at University of Oregon’s 2019 graduate forum.

Research Methods, Statistics, and Open Science

Inspired by the amazing mentors I’ve had during my undergraduate and graduate studies, I have always been interested in learning about statistics and methodology. As such, sometimes in research collaborations beyond my main research area, I contribute to the statistical and methodological aspects of the research. For example, in a recent collaboration on an interesting project about compassion fatigue (manuscript currently under review), I had my first formal experience with Bayesian Multi-level modeling, which I find fascinating.

Within the realm of methodology, I pay close attention to the current developments in the open science and transparency movement. I’m an avid consumer of articles about meta-science and sociology of science, and try to directly apply the principles of open science to my research. This includes preregistration, as well as sharing of data and R-code.

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