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A major focus of the EmP Lab is improving the understanding of the risk factors for and causes of eating disorders.  Our research examines the role of emotion dysregulation and emotional cascades in binge eating and purging, the factors that lead to suicidal behavior in eating disorders, and how eating disorders interface with borderline personality disorder. We also investigate negative and positive emotion dysregulation factors in bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and obesity, as well as the interplay between sexual minority stress and eating disorders.


Positive Emotion Amplification (PE-AMP) Model of Anorexia Nervosa


We recently published the Positive Emotion Amplification (PE-AMP) Model of Anorexia Nervosa (Selby & Coniglio, 2020, Psychological Review).  This complex dynamic systems model suggests that women with anorexia experience positive emotion in a maladaptive way, such that weight loss activities become highly reinforcing due to success with weight loss goals and feelings of control. This positive emotion with weight loss also motivates them to engage in further weight loss activities. In combination with negative emotion problems, many women with anorexia may experience a “perfect storm” of emotion dysregulation that can make their symptoms very severe.  This model also helps to improve our understanding of the “Pro-Anorexia” website phenomenon, and why these websites can be so harmful.  Ultimately, we hope that a better understanding of what leads to the development of anorexia will help us improve our current treatments.


Representative Publications


*Dreier, M. J., Coniglio, K., & Selby, E. A. (2021). Mapping features of pathological exercise using hierarchical‐dimensional modeling.International Journal of Eating Disorders,54(3), 422-432.


Selby, E. A., & Coniglio, K. A. (2020). Positive emotion and motivational dynamics in anorexia nervosa: A positive emotion amplification model (PE-AMP). Psychological Review, 127(5), 853.


*Coniglio, K. A., & Selby, E. A. (2020). Using Self-Determination Theory to Define Pathological Exercise. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 15(2), 121-142.


*Panza, E., Olson, K., Goldstein, C. M., Selby, E. A., & Lillis, J. (2020). Characterizing Lifetime and Daily Experiences of Weight Stigma among Sexual Minority Women with Overweight and Obesity: A Descriptive Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(13), 4892.


*Coniglio, K. A., Christensen, K. A., Haynos, A. F., Rienecke, R. D., & Selby, E. A. (2019). The posited effect of positive affect in anorexia nervosa: Advocating for a forgotten piece of a puzzling disease. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52(9), 971-976.


Selby, E. A., Cornelius, T., Fehling, K. B., Kranzler, A., Panza, E. A., Lavender, J. M., ... & Grange, D. L. (2015). A perfect storm: examining the synergistic effects of negative and positive emotional instability on promoting weight loss activities in anorexia nervosa. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1260.


Selby, E. A., Wonderlich, S. A., Crosby, R. D., Engel, S. G., Panza, E., Mitchell, J. E., ... & Le Grange, D. (2014). Nothing tastes as good as thin feels: Low positive emotion differentiation and weight-loss activities in anorexia nervosa. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(4), 514-531.

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