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People Walking

Social Well-Being Laboratory
("Swell" Lab)

Welcome to the Social Well-Being (Swell) Lab! We are located at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.


What we do:

We study how social relationships and communication processes influence well-being (broadly defined). Our goal is to understand how people can connect with others in ways that help them thrive, especially in this digital age, when people must learn to navigate both their offline and online social world adaptively.


Broadly, the varied social contexts we study can be organized into
two categories:


  • Everyday Social Interaction: From casual conversations to exchanging social support, this line of research focuses on the various social interactions occurring in daily lives. For example, what should you say to those who are going through a difficult time? Why would someone prefer to talk about their problems to
    a mere acquaintance but not to their spouse? How does using social media affect our well-being or physical health?


  • Relationship Construals: Although people spend much time interacting with others, they also spend just as much time (if not more) thinking about others (e.g., how they think of us, what we think of them). Here, we focus on how the different ways of thinking about our relationships influence our lives. For example, can some ways of thinking of our supportive friends promote vs. undermine goal-pursuit? What are some personality traits or motivational states that enable people to benefit more from their social relationships?

Meet the Team

Lab Alumni

Zhiying (Zoey) Yue (PhD student, U Buffalo)

Jody Chin Sing Wong (PhD student, U Buffalo)

Taylor Shrapnell (MA student, Univ. of Michigan)

Chloe Sprague (Undergraduate thesis student, Univ. of Michigan)

Salomi Rami (Undergraduate thesis student, Univ. of Michigan)

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