Kelly Faig

Assistant Professor of Psychology Kelly Faig  co-authored three peer-reviewed papers that have been published recently.

Faig was one of three authors of “Somatovisceral Influences on Emotional Development” published in April 2023 in Emotion Review.

The authors begin by explaining how emotion understanding, or the ability to recognize and make inferences about one's own and others’ emotional states, is critical to effectively navigating one's social environment. In this manuscript, they highlight afferent somatovisceral cues, internal body signals, as another domain that can inform the development of emotion understanding.

In their abstract, the authors write, “We want to talk about how these body signals work with the brain to deal with feelings. We think that adding ideas about body signals to how kids learn about emotions can help us understand better. We also suggest some ways to study this, like looking at how the heart's signals are processed, how people sense what's going on inside their bodies, how the immune system reacts, how bodies sync up, and how touch between people matters.”

Faig also co-authored “Perceived control, loneliness, early-life stress, and parents’ perceptions of stress” that appeared in Scientific Reports in August 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic showed how important it is to understand why people feel stressed differently. Parents were feeling more stressed during the pandemic, so the authors studied what makes them feel that way. In one study, they looked at how parents' stress, control, loneliness, and past experiences of childhood stress are connected. They found that when parents feel more control, less loneliness, had less stress in their childhood, and had a certain body response, they tended to feel less stressed in the present.

In another study, they replicated their findings with a different group of parents. They also saw that parents’ feelings can change over time. When parents felt more control and had fewer past traumas, their stress levels went down, leading the authors to realize that understanding how parents see their situation is important to understand why they get stressed. They also became aware of how helping parents with strategies to reduce their stress was valuable.

"Estimation of antibody levels after COVID-19 vaccinations: Preliminary evidence for immune interoception" will appear in Biological Psychology in September 2023 and is online now. This novel study looks at peoples’ awareness of their own levels of immunity and discovers that they can accurately estimate their own level of antibodies after receiving a COVID vaccine. People who had lower levels of antibodies were best at guessing their level of protection.


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