Oriana Aragón

Postdoctoral associate, Yale University

Dr. Aragón studies why we react with what look like negative reactions when we are overwhelmed with positive emotions (i.e. tears of joy, or nervous laughter)? She calls these contrary expressions "dimorphous expressions." Initial work shows for instance that when people are presented with cute images, many become overwhelmed with strong positive emotions, and about half of those people who are overwhelmed show dimorphous expressions of clenching fists, gritting teeth and pinching cheeks. She has also found that these expressions appear to help us to deal with those strong emotions.

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