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The Relationships and Social Cognition Lab (RASCL) at UC Berkeley focuses on the psychology of human relationships, including friendships, romantic relationships, and intergroup relationships. We are interested in understanding how social-cognitive (e.g., interpersonal expectations and schemas) and affective (both expressive and physiological) processes influence the quality and longevity of relationships as well as mental and emotional health. We adopt a multi-method approach and study relationship behavior and adjustment at multiple levels of analysis, using physiological measurements, unconscious priming tasks, lab-based social interaction paradigms, and longitudinal and daily diary designs. 

  • How are people able to regulate their negative emotions in interpersonal situations that elicit anger and hostility?

  • How can we foster successful relationships across race and class boundaries?

  • Does attachment anxiety influence whether people approach or avoid novel experiences?

  • How do relationship expectations and schemas influence physiological responses when people face potentially threatening interactions?

  • What role do peer and mentor relationships play a role in fostering academic achievement and mental/emotional health?

  • How do children develop effective emotion regulatory strategies?

  • How is the ability to flexibly shift attention related to positive coping in interpersonal situations?

  • What is the relationship between rejection/acceptance and the fight-or-flight emotion system?