Our lab focuses on how subjective mindsets (e.g., thoughts, beliefs, and expectations) can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Our work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a robust demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body. We are interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes both within and beyond the realm of medicine, in domains such as exercise, diet, and stress. More specifically, we aim to understand how selective information through modalities such as media, marketing, and labeling can inform mindsets, and how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect physiological and psychological health.
Our research draws upon and integrates the psychology of schemas and appraisals within a range of disciplines including the science of the placebo effect, the behavioral economics of framing, and the sociology of valuation. We collaborate with an interdisciplinary web of scholars including psychologists, sociologists, organizational behavior scholars, and neurobiologists and employ a variety of methods, from experimental studies to surveys to field interventions. Though our approach is interdisciplinary and our methods multi-modal, our focus is precise: to bring together related streams of research to a) understand how mindsets shape reality and b) design interventions that can positively change health, performance, and wellbeing.
Former postdoc Lauren Heathcote, now an associate professor at King's College London, wins the 2022 Ulf Lindblom Young Investigator Prize for Clinical Science. This prize recognizes an individual who has achieved a high level of independence as an outstanding scholar in the field of pain and clinical science.
September 15, 2020
Thank you to everyone who has helped us with our research on perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic! Your participation is already making a difference in our understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly appreciate your participation in our research.
Below are some frequently asked questions about our study. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are we? We’re a team of researchers in the Psychology Department at Stanford University. You can learn more about us and the work we do at mbl.stanford.edu
What is this study? This study aims to uncover people’s understanding, perceptions of, and responses to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic currently on-going in our country. This study has been approved by the Stanford Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure research compliance.
Why are we asking questions about COVID-19? The COVID-19 pandemic represents a unique experience for nearly every person on the planet. We are interested in understanding how people think about this situation and how they feel, and behave in the context of a pandemic. This can help us design programs to more effectively handle the impact of the pandemic on people’s lives and the society at large.
Why are you following up with participants now? Many surveys ask a group of people one set of questions at one time point. That strategy doesn’t work as well with something like the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed dramatically in the past few months. It’s important to ask these questions at a few time points to see how things may have or may not have changed for you. This helps us look at trends over time to understand what may be getting better,what may be getting worse, and what is staying consistent. Our next steps are to use this data to design programs to help promote change.
Can I see the results? Yes! But not quite yet. With your help we have made some fascinating discoveries about how people think about the COVID-19 and how they have responded to the pandemic. We are eager to share these results with the world, but need to survey people at 1-2 more timepoints to finish this study and to get a more holistic and complete picture of what’s actually unfolding during the pandemic . Once we have completed the entire study, we will share the results on our website.
What information does the survey collect? We have only collected the data you provided to us in the survey. We de-identify all of the data we collect, which means your email address will not be connected with your answers to the survey. We will never share your contact information and will only present data in aggregate (e.g., to be published in scientific journals or presented at conferences).
Why does the survey link not go to a .edu site? At Stanford, we use a survey platform called Qualtrics to run our study. It is a tool that is commonly used by researchers at Stanford and other institutions to run their studies. Learn more at https://uit.stanford.edu/service/survey or https://www.qualtrics.com/
How can I participate? We are not recruiting new participants at this time. We are only following up with participants who completed our initial survey in March, 2020.
March 31, 2020
We are proud to announce that research coordinator Rina Horii has been awarded the NSF GRFP and research coordinator Kris Evans was given an honorable mention! Bravo Rina and Kris!
March 30, 2020
A big congratulations to former graduate student Lauren Howe on her new position as Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich! Congratulations also to current lab members Kris Evans, Rina Horii, and Isaac Handley-Miner on their acceptance to psychology PhD programs! They will be starting their graduate work this fall at Stanford University (Kris), the University of Minnesota (Rina), and Boston College (Isaac).
March 16, 2020
The Mind & Body Lab is looking for a new lab manager to start in summer 2020. Check out the job posting here!
MARCH 15, 2020
The paper "Learning one’s genetic risk changes physiology independent of actual genetic risk," first-authored by MBL Postdoc Brad Turnwald, was one of four papers to win this year's NIH Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Paper Competition.
MARCH 6, 2020
Alia Crum was awarded the Early Career Award from the Social Personality Health Network at SPSP 2020, which is given to a junior scholar who has made exceptional contributions to the field.
JULY 12, 2019
Alia Crum was awarded the Early Career Researcher Award from the International Positive Psychology Association, which is given to the researcher who, within the first 10 years of completing their PhD, has contributed most significantly to scientific advancement of knowledge in positive psychology.
JUNE 16, 2019
A huge congratulations to the all of the 2019 Stanford graduates! We would like to extend a special congratulations to Brad Turnwald, the Mind & Body Lab's first PhD graduate. Brad has been a wonderful colleague, mentor, and friend throughout his time in the lab, and we're thrilled to be keeping him on as a postdoc starting this summer. A special congraulations also to our two fabulous honors thesis students, Matthew Bernstein and Angela Lee.
JUNE 10, 2019
Sean Zion, a graduate student in the Mind & Body Lab, was awarded the Zimbardo Teaching Award for excellence in teaching.
JUne 7, 2019
Angela Lee, an honors thesis student in the Mind & Body Lab, was awarded the Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, which recognizes the top ten percent of all honors theses in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering and applied sciences.
FEB 7, 2019
FEB 4, 2019
October 8, 2018
Stanford SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions), in collaboration with the Mind & Body Lab, has launched the "Edgy Veggies" toolkit to help people apply the findings from MBL's research on diet and nutrition. Check it out here!
JUNE 18, 2018
The project "Motivating Mobility and Health on a Global Scale," on which Alia Crum is a co-PI, won this year's Stanford Catalyst Award. This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between faculty from 16 different departments at Stanford. Over the course of three years, it seeks to motivate physical activity at low cost on a massive scale. Read more about it here.
JUNE 13, 2018
Mind & Body Lab senior Rina Horii was selected by the Stanford Psychology Department as the recipient of the Robert Zajonc Award for her honors thesis on mindsets about food.
JUNE 4, 2018
Alia Crum was awarded the 2018 Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award. This award recognizes excellence in teaching and the ability to inspire intellectual and personal development in and beyond the classroom.
MAY 18, 2018
May 16, 2018
MBL graduate student Kari Leibowitz was awarded the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, one of the greatest honors Stanford gives to doctoral students pursuing interdisciplinary research.
April 12, 2018
Alia Crum was awarded the 2018 Humanities & Sciences Dean's Award for First Years of Teaching at Stanford. This award recognizes faculty for their dedication and commitment to outstanding teaching.
FEBRUARY 22, 2018
January 30, 2018
Rina Horii ('18) and Steve Rathje ('18), both honors thesis students in the Mind & Body Lab, were awarded the J. E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement. The Sterling Award is one of Stanford's most selective recognitions of a student's overall academic performance.