Feb 15, 2019
Ethan Kross is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. His research seeks to “Understand factors enabling people to adaptively regulate triggered impulses and emotions that undermine their goals and compromise their health.” He wants to resolve a key paradox in coping literature by finding insights and translating those insights to the rest of the world.
What got Ethan into studying behavior and how the mind works? Around the age of 4 or 5, whenever Ethan would get upset, his dad would ask him to “go inside” and look within himself to figure out why he was feeling how he was feeling. For years Ethan would do this as a positive coping mechanism. When he got to college he learned that when most look inside themselves to dig deeper, this takes them to a negative place. Introspection seemed to only prolong their negative feelings. This resonated with him and started him down his current path of asking “Why?”
Much of his work is focused on social media. In early 2010 Ethan became increasingly interested in Facebook. He found himself looking around his classroom and in the hallway–relentlessly seeing students with open Facebook windows on their phone. He wondered: “Are these students happier now that they have social media in their lives?” Ethan started digging and found research that was all over the place. Some studies would say, “People who are on Facebook are more happy” and then he would come across another study saying the complete opposite. He concluded that the methods in which those studies were using to gather data were grossly inefficient.
In this episode of Trend Following Radio:
Passive and interactive activities on social media
Regulation on social media
LeBron James move from the Cavaliers
Dealing with problems under stressed.