Shelley E. Taylors research explores our ability to perceive some stressful situations in ways that have both psychological and biological benefits. Taylors research shows that in some circumstances, we can develop “positive illusions” – such as an illusion of personal control or unrealistic optimism about the future – to handle stressful situations. Taylors tend-and-befriend model illustrates how people, especially women, will come together support one another in stressful situations. Her lab is examining the genetic, early environmental, and neurocognitive origins of these coping mechanisms and their benefits. Taylor is a recipient of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) William James Fellow Award for her lifetime of significant intellectual achievements to the basic science of psychology.
A sampling of research on media exposure and collective trauma, perfectionism during the transition to university, and the effects of mindfulness tasks on women’s sexual response. More
A sample of research exploring memory and stress-induced cannabis craving, predicting suicidal thoughts and nonfatal attempts, the influence of stress on depression and substance use among same-sex couples, and heterogeneity of the anxiety-related attention bias. More
A sample of research exploring: cognitive bias modification to target two behaviors; positive affect as a buffer between chronic stress and emotional disorder symptoms; reward sensitivity and trait disinhibition as predictors of substance use problems; and culture as a mediator between appraisals and PTSD symptoms. More