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UAlbany Research: Charitable Giving Reduces Stress, Results in Longer Life Expectancy

University at Albany faculty experts examine a variety of issues to help better navigate the 2014 holiday season

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 14, 2014) -- With Halloween in the rear view mirror, the holiday season in the United States has officially begun. Millions of Americans are flocking to stores and making plans to visit relatives between now and the first of the year.

UAlbany students volunteer for Parsons
Associate Professor Barış K. Yörük examines how charitable giving is good for your health in the Journal of Economic Psychology. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

During such a frenetic time, faculty experts at the University at Albany are examining a variety of issues to help better navigate the 2014 holiday season. They cover a wide array of seasonal issues, including charitable giving and health; Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday commerce; holiday stress and depression; and sound advice for maintaining New Year's resolutions.

They include:

Charitable giving during the holidays

  • Associate Professor of Economics Barış K. Yörük examines public economics and health economics. This month, his research about how charitable subsidies have positive spillover effects on health, is featured in the Journal of Economic Psychology. Yörük has published extensively on topics related to charitable giving and volunteering, effectiveness of alternative fundraising methods, and alcohol and tobacco control policies targeted toward young adults.

Seasonal shopping patterns and marketing

  • Professor of Marketing Sanjay Putrevu has published widely in the areas of consumer behavior, advertising, retailing, and international marketing. His current research explores consumer response to integrated marketing communications (IMC), cross-cultural differences, effectiveness of retail and marketing strategies, gender differences in information processing, and the impact of corporate social responsibility on consumer patronage/loyalty.
  • Assistant Professor Suraj Commuri’s expertise includes insight into marketing trends, as well as brand counterfeiting and consumer-generated content. He previously served as a research consultant for multinational brands entering Asian markets. Prior to coming to UAlbany, he was at the University of Missouri, where he taught at their College of Business and the interdisciplinary Center for Digital Globe.

Holiday stress

  • Psychology Professor John P. Forsyth is director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program. He is widely known for his work on acceptance and experiential avoidance, and the role of emotion regulatory processes in anxiety disorders. He is a leader in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and an active researcher in the anxiety disorders.
  • Dolores Cimini is a New York State licensed psychologist who has provided leadership since 1982 on a number of federal, state, and private grant-funded programs. She is the project director for more than $2.8 million in grants addressing high-risk drinking and other prevention issues. Cimini is an expert on mental health issues, alcohol and drug abuse prevention.

New Year's resolutions

  • Professor Mark Muraven studies self-control. He investigates why self-control fails, how to prevent the loss of control, and how to improve an individual's self-control. Muraven studies the role of self-control in addictive disorders, including smoking and drinking, as well as how self-control affects dieting, coping with stress, mood regulation, and mental performance. He is a recipient of an early career award from the Society for Advancement of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.
  • Associate Professor Drew Anderson conducts research across the eating disorder spectrum, from anorexia to obesity. His work includes basic research on vulnerability to eating disorders and binge eating, as well as the development of assessment instruments for eating disorders. He can discuss the effectiveness of dieting and weight loss on health. Current research interests include predicting individual response to weight loss, the effects of dieting on stress hormones, and developing innovative treatments for bulimia and restrained eating.

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