Kasey Creswell, PhD
I am broadly interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of addiction, as well as identifying those who may be particularly vulnerable to addiction. More specifically, my research focuses on uncovering basic affective and cognitive mechanisms of cigarette craving, emphasizes the importance of social and biological/personality factors in the etiology and maintenance of alcohol and tobacco use disorders, and considers the role of gene by environment (G x E) interactions in predicting alcohol misuse and cigarette smoking. I use experimental methodologies, including in vivo smoking cue exposure paradigms and alcohol administration protocols, which allow precise observations of social and emotional processing under conditions modeling real-world contexts that challenge successful self-regulation (e.g., while participants are intoxicated or experiencing strong cravings). I also use longitudinal designs with large clinical samples to specify the mechanisms by which individuals fail to self-regulate and to identify individuals at risk to develop addiction. This information not only can inform the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, but it also offers insights into basic aspects of human emotion and social functioning.