Dr. Maia Pujara
Title: Finding positivity in negative self-expression: Exploring the benefits of complaining on emotion regulation and subjective well-being
Abstract: In the field of positive psychology (the study of behaviors that support flourishing and well-being), the benefits of? gratitude expression on mental health and wellbeing are well established. However, gratitude expression may not always be accessible nor relevant in social settings where negative self-expression, specifically through complaining behaviors, is warranted as a means of emotional regulation, social bonding, and impression management. In this talk, the emotional benefits of mindful complaining will be explored, with descriptions of methods to study the function of complaining in both naturalistic and lab-based settings. The results of these studies may have important implications for behavioral and environmental ‘nudges’ that can be done to encourage mindful social interactions.
Bio: Dr. Maia Pujara is a neuroscientist who focuses on the effects of emotion (affect) on decision-making and behavioral interventions to improve decision-making, well-being, and mental health. Prior to her work at Sarah Lawrence, Dr. Pujara studied the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and its interactions with subcortical brain areas in guiding reward learning, adaptive decision-making, and social interactions. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and English from Furman University (Greenville, SC), her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI), and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health under the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD).
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