Judith Moskowitz, PhD, MPH
Professor | Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine | link
Director of Research | Osher Center for Integrative Medicine | link
Director | BSIS Core, Third Coast Center for AIDS Research | link
Judy is a social / health psychologist who conducts patient-oriented research regarding behavioral and psychosocial factors in the context of significant illness or other life stress. Her current research is focused on the adaptive role of positive emotion regulation for support of beneficial health behavior change (such as diet and physical activity) and prevention of maladaptive health behaviors (such as substance abuse.)
Funded by NIMH, NIDDK, NIDA, and NINR, she examines the unique adaptive role of positive emotion in the process of coping with various types of health-related and other life stress and, through randomized trials, determine whether a positive emotion regulation intervention developed by her team can increase positive affect, reduce stress and depression, and improve health behaviors in at risk samples.
Keep up with her latest news & information about upcoming talks / presentations here.
Q&A with Judy
Q: What is your go-to skill for increasing positive affect?
A: Positive reappraisal. I'm a natural positive reappraiser but since I've been working on developing the intervention, I've really honed that skill. I can reappraise anything. It can be really annoying for people around me...
Q: What would you say to a skeptic on the research of positive affect?
A: It's good to be skeptical of positive affect as a miracle cure for whatever stress you happen to be experiencing. The danger of advocating the benefits of positive affect in the context of stress is that it can seem to minimize the very real pain and negative consequences of stress. What we try to emphasize is that it is possible to experience positive emotion alongside negative emotions even when you are experiencing extreme stress. The goal of our intervention is to help people learn the skills that can help them experience more frequent positive emotion, even in the midst of distress.
Q: Where can I find out more about the positive affect skills that you're teaching?
A: You can read more about them here.