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Professor Ethan Kross Awarded For Research Contributions

Professor Ethan Kross named 2023 AAAS Fellow

Ethan Kross, professor of management and organizations, was recently named one of the 2023 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows. Kross was honored for his groundbreaking research on how people's ability to manage and regulate their emotions can help them personally and professionally.

In his recent book CHATTER: The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It, Kross explores how inner dialogues affect our daily lives. Through research-driven insights and real-world examples, Kross shows that “inner critics and coaches” or self-critical thoughts can have a huge impact. 

As explored in the book, these self-critical thoughts drive us to make decisions in every sphere of our lives. Positively, they can offer a sense of control and meaning. Negatively, they can complicate critical thinking skills and performance. 

“If you are overly critical of yourself, you can reach a state of “analysis paralysis,” shared Kross. “Particularly in a professional setting, unregulated inner critics and coaches can impact both psychological and physical health.” 

Kross’ work has been influential throughout the Ross School of Business community, particularly the Sanger Leadership Center

According to Kross’ research, business leaders who are able to better regulate their emotions can positively influence their company and team culture. Through setting the standards of the workplace, a leader can shape and model the organization's values, the way the culture is governed and upheld, and the structures that are implemented to support individuals in their teams. 

“Leadership begins with our ability to lead ourselves. Leaders are also in an ideal position to provide resources to those around them and to shape the culture of emotion regulation,” shared Kross.  

Kross is building off his current research by studying the effect of combining tools for emotional regulation and management. In the same vein as pharmacology studies that explore the interaction of different medicines, Kross hopes to show that specific combinations of emotional regulation tools can provide individual specific solutions to emotional regulation challenges. 

“As scientists, we spend a lot of time researching the efficacy of individual strategies and tools. But individuals don’t just use one tool when they are trying to manage their emotions,” shared Kross. “My hope is that we may one day be able to prescribe specific combinations of emotional management tools on an individual level.” 

In addition to research, Kross teaches courses at a number of schools across the University of Michigan, including Leading Yourself and Managing Your Personal Relationships (MO 324) in the BBA program. 

Kross shared that he hopes to make U-M a hub for the study of emotion and well-being.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of solving the puzzle of emotion regulation. At U-M, we have a wealth of talent, and I would love to encourage collaborations from researchers across campus to make Michigan the center of research on emotion regulation.”

Featured Faculty
Professor of Management & Organizations, Ross School of Business
Director, Self-Control and Emotion Laboratory
Chair, Social Psychology Area
Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
Faculty Lead of Innovation, Eisenberg Family Depression Center