four people sitting on a wooden staircase, photo credit Gaelle Marcel/Unsplash

Addiction, Health, & Adolescence (AHA!) Lab

Photo Credit (top image): Gaelle Marcel / Unsplash

What does your daily life look like?

We are a research laboratory in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. We are perpetually curious about the way behavior unfolds over short time scales (e.g., moment-to-moment, day-to-day) during the course of everyday life. The ebb and flow of momentary behavior may seem inconsequential, but the minutiae of everyday life, once tallied up over time, become the foundation for more enduring changes in our behavior, environment, and biology that occur on longer (e.g., years, decades) timescales. In other words, “behavior is the leading edge of adaptation.” With this focus on short-term (on the daily or even finer timescales) dynamics in behavior, our research focuses on substance use, emotion regulation, and curiosity across the lifespan, with a particular focus on adolescence.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.” — Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

AHA Director standing in front of a screen giving a lecture

Our Research

We have three main lines of research. Common to all is an obsession with intensively measuring daily experiences in the wild and online, modeling behavior as the output of a complex system, and providing insights into health and well-being.

Aerial view of people walking in a crosswalk, photo credit Ryoji Iwata / Unsplash

Participate in a Study

We are often recruiting participants for ongoing studies in the laboratory. Take a look at the studies we are currently conducting. Follow the links below if you are interested in learning more and taking part.

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