Kasey Creswell, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Research Interest Summary

Addictive behaviors; self-regulation; alcohol use and misuse; cigarette craving

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in understanding the social and affective mechanisms driving addiction and in identifying those who may be particularly vulnerable to addictive disorders. My program of research draws on self-regulation theory to identify basic mechanisms of alcohol use and misuse and cigarette craving. I use experimental methodologies, including alcohol administration protocols and in vivo smoking cue exposure paradigms, which allow for precise observations of social and affective processing under conditions modeling real-world contexts that challenge successful self-regulation (e.g., while participants are intoxicated or experiencing strong cravings). I also use longitudinal designs with large community and clinical samples to identify socio-emotional factors that contribute to self-regulation failures and predict the development of addictive behaviors. This information not only can inform the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, but it also offers insights into basic aspects of human affective and social functioning. My program of work adopts a cross-disciplinary research approach integrating social and clinical psychology, affective science, and genetic methodologies to develop theories of addictive behaviors and to improve understanding of basic human emotion and social processes. My research includes multi-method measurement of key constructs and behavioral phenotypes (e.g., observations of behavior using well-defined coding schemes and state-of-the-art observational software, non-verbal “visceral” measures), sophisticated statistical techniques (e.g., HLM, SEM, meta-analysis), ecological momentary assessment, and molecular genetics.

Representative Publications

Creswell, K.G. & Sayette, M.A. (2022). How laboratory studies of cigarette craving can inform the experimental alcohol craving literature. Invited Critical Review at Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 46(3), 344-358. http://doi.org/10.1111/acer.14773

Creswell, K.G. (2021). Drinking together and drinking alone: A social-contextual framework for examining alcohol use disorder risk. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30(1) 19-25. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721420969406

Fairbairn, C.E., Creswell, K.G., Hales, A.H., Williams, K.D., & Wilkins, K.V. (2021). Mixing misery and gin: The effect of alcohol-administration on ostracism response. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672211038450

Creswell, K.G., & Skrzynski, C.J. (2021). The influence of smoking motivation on the associations among smoking craving, attentional bias to smoking cues, and smoking behavior. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 23(10), 1727-1734.  https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntab028

Skrzynski, C.J., & Creswell, K.G. (2020). Associations between solitary drinking and increased alcohol consumption, alcohol problems, and drinking to cope motives in adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction, 115, 1989-2007.

Creswell, K.G., Sayette, M.A., Skrzynski, C.J., Wright, A.G.C., Schooler, J.W., & Sehic, E. (2019). Assessing cigarette craving with a squeeze. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(3), 597-611.

Creswell, K.G., Wright, A.G.C., Flory, J.D., Skrzynski, C.J., & Manuck, S.B. (2019). Multidimensional assessment of impulsivity-related measures in relation to externalizing behaviors. Psychological Medicine, 14(10), 1678-1690.

Creswell, K.G., Bachrach, R.L., Wright, A.G.C., Pinto, A., & Ansell, E. (2016). Predicting problematic alcohol use with the DSM-5 alternative model of personality pathology. Personality Disorders: Treatment, Research, and Theory, 7(1), 103-111.

Creswell, K.G., Chung, T., Clark, D.B., & Martin, C.S. (2014). Solitary alcohol use in teens is associated with drinking in response to negative affect and predicts alcohol problems in young adulthood. Clinical Psychological Science, 2(5), 602-610.

Creswell, K.G., Sayette, M.A., Manuck, S.B., Ferrell, R.E., Hill, S.Y., & Dimoff, J.D. (2012). DRD4 polymorphism moderates the effect of alcohol consumption on social bonding. PLoS one, 7(2), e29814, 1-9.


Accepting Graduate Students