Positive Priming And Relaxation to the Stress Response

This talk will cover a series of studies that explore the role of mindset in determining the effects of stress. Dr. Crum will present results from a variety of lab experiments that demonstrate the effects of stress mindset —one’s belief that stress is debilitating or enhancing— on emotional, physiological and cognitive correlates of stress. In addition, she will present results from a series of field-based interventions aimed at helping individuals deliberately choose a stress-is-enhancing mindset to effect positive changes in health and performance. 

Dr. Alia Crum

Stanford professor, athlete and psychologist Alia Crum investigates the role of mindsets in affecting health behaviors and outcomes. Inspired by research on the placebo effect, Alia’s research was the first to reveal the physiological effects of mindset in core areas of behavioral health, including the benefits of exercise, the metabolic processing of nutrients, and the effects of stress.

Alia’s research moves us beyond the limited notion of the placebo effect as a mysterious response to an inert substance toward recognizing that, ultimately, our mindset is responsible for physiological responses. As the director of the Mind & Body Lab and the health director at Stanford SPARQ, Alia leads researchers in better defining and utilizing the roles social and psychological forces play in overcoming chronic disease.