Professor of Psychology; UM Faculty Ombuds
We use an interdisciplinary approach to study the interface between emotion and decision making, focusing on two main lines of research:
- How do people process others' emotions and how does this affect the help they offer?
- How do people allocate resources like food, money, and material goods?
Both lines integrate proximate (what the brain and body are doing) and ultimate (why they exist, how they evolved) levels of analysis with a variety of measurement techniques including overt behavior (via computer responses or video coding), personality (via scales or questionnaires), emotion (via self-report and psychophysiology) and brain activity (via PET and fMRI).
We are committed to an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Please reach out if you see ways we can improve our inclusivity at email@example.com.
Hauser, D. J., Preston, S. D., Stansfield, R. B. (2013). Altruism in the wild: When affiliative motives to help positive people overtake empathic motives to help the distressed. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1037/a0035464
Preston, S. D. (2013). Examining the origins of altruism in offspring care. Psychological Bulletin. 139(6), 1305-1341. DOI: 10.1037/a0031755
Wang, J. M., Seidler, R. D., Hall, J. L., & Preston, S. D. (2012). The neural bases of acquisitiveness: Decisions to acquire and discard everyday goods differ across frames, items, and individuals. Neuropsychologia, 50 (5), 939–948. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.01.033
Buchanan, T. W., Bagley, S. L., Stansfield, R. B., & Preston, S. D. (2011). The empathic, physiological resonance of stress. Social Neuroscience, 1-11. Available online July 20, doi: 10.1080/17470919.2011.588723.
Preston, S. D., Muroff, J. R., & Wengrovitz, S. M. (2009). Investigating the mechanisms of hoarding from an experimental perspective. Depression and Anxiety, 26, 425-437.
Preston, S. D.; Buchanan, T. W.; Stansfield, R. B.; Bechara, A. (2007). Effects of anticipatory stress on decision making in a gambling task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 121(2), 257-263.
Preston, S. D.; Bechara, A.; Grabowski, T. J.; Damasio, H.; Damasio A. R. (2007). The neural substrates of cognitive empathy. Social Neuroscience, 2 (3-4), 254-275.
Preston, S. D. and de Waal, F. B. M. (2002). Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25(1), 1-71.