Current Projects

Our lab is  conducting research in the following areas:

 

  • Evaluation of the WayForward app for reducting social anxiety – We are working with PsyInnovations to evaluate the effects of using this smartphone application to help people with social anxiety.
  • Intolerance of uncertainty The most widely used way of assessing this phenomenon is through self-report questionnaires. We are currently developing and evaluating a paradigm for measuring intolerance of uncertainty behaviorally so that we can manipulate variables we believe moderate this phenomenon.
  • Mechanisms of exposure therapy – We are very interested in inhibitory learning approaches to exposure and potential ways to optimize long-term outcome of this effective treatment for anxiety. Current studies focus on ways of enhancing exposure therapy using an inhibitory learning approach for obsessional thoughts and for spider fears.
  • Attentional biases in OCD and related problems – we just completed two studies examining (a) attentional bias for religion-related words in scrupulosity, and (b) health-related stimuli in health anxiety. We are currently writing up and publishing the results of these dot probe studies.
  • Cognitive biases in OCD and other anxiety-related problems – We are interested in the cognitive biases that maintain OCD and other related problems and have published numerous self-report and experimental studies on this topic. A recent study examined biases contributing to health anxiety during the recent Ebola outbreak and scare. Another looked at how perceptions of uncertainty and risk contribute to the perception of threat in common situations.  One of our current studies examines whether repeated mirror checking (looking at a disliked facial feature, a neutral feature, or a control condition) causes memory distrust.
  • Interpersonal aspects of OCD and related problems – We are presently conducting two studies in this area. One examines the predictors of family accommodation among relatives of those with anxiety disorders and OCD. The second is a treatment study using a couple-based cognitive-behavioral treatment for body dysmorphic disorder.

Check out some of our most recent journal articles based on these studies here.