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Philip Gable - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Philip Gable

Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences | University of Delaware


Prof. Gable has expertise in emotion and motivational science; our sense of time, and neuroscience




Philip Gable Publication







Philip Gable is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at The University of Delaware. Dr. Gable studies both psychological and neurological processes underlying motivation/emotion, personality, control, substance use, and cognitive scope. He uses a range of measures such as EEG frontal asymmetry, EEG beta suppression over the motor cortex, event-related potentials and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. His work is well-recognized in diverse disciplines, including social, cognitive, and clinical psychology, psychophysiology, and neuroscience. He received the Early Career Award from the Society for the Science of Motivation. He has edited the Oxford Handbook of EEG Frequency and has published widely on affective and motivational science with more than 85 articles and chapters to date. Support for his work has come from national agencies and private industry and has totaled over $4.7 million USD in funding.

From these investigations, he has developed the Motivational Dimensional Model of cognitive scope, proposing that motivational intensity influences cognitive and perceptual scope. He has applied his work to understand consumer behavior and product research and development for corporations such as Del Monte, Big Heart Pet Brands, and J.M. Smuckers. He has investigated the neural and cognitive components of motivation in alcohol and drug use for individuals in drug recovery. He has also examined emotion-based therapies for individuals with autism. His work on how emotion and motivation influences our sense of time has been widely recognized in the media, being featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Global Hangouts, NPR - New York City, New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Emotional Theory



Social Psychology


Neuromarketing and Research Design

Substance Use and Recovery

Answers (1)

Is there a science behind giving a gift?

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According to Philip Gable, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware, there are emotional and psychological rewards to giving a gift to someone. It extends beyond mere material exchange, says Gable, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware. The happiness derived from giving takes various forms, from a personal investment of time to a budget-conscious monetary contribution. It transcends mere obligation.

Media Appearances (5)

Time Is Zooming By. Four Ways You Can Slow It Down

The Wall Street Journal  online


It’s helpful to feel that time is flying when you’re working hard on a goal, says Philip Gable, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Delaware, who studies how motivation affects our perception of time. It makes the effort feel easier, so you persist longer.

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Our Sense of Time Is Way Off—Especially Time We Spend on the Internet

The Wall Street Journal  online


Philip Gable, an associate professor in the University of Delaware’s department of psychological and brain sciences, has done research showing that when people view photos of potential rewards such as a dessert, they perceive them retrospectively as having been shown for a shorter amount of time than photos of flowers.

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Day 6: Don’t Cancel Those Plans

The New York Times  online


“Many of us might be out of shape when it comes to socializing,” said Philip Gable, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Delaware. Motivate yourself to go out by setting small goals instead of larger ones, he suggested. Instead of committing to be at a party for three hours, he said, give yourself a half-hour, or vow that you’ll chat with three people. A

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You Are Not Your Moods

Mindful  online


There are various factors that determine why you get into a mood and how you get out of one. Before we explore that, it helps to understand the difference between an emotion and a mood. An emotion is shorter in duration, higher in intensity—like a spike of energy. A mood happens over more time. “You can be grumpy all day, but you can’t really be in a rage for the same period,” says Philip Gable, assistant professor of psychology at University of Delaware.

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How To Be Proud of Yourself Without Feeling Like A Phony

Fatherly  online


“It keeps you motivated and feeling rewarded by what you do,” says Philip Gable, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Social Cognitive Emotive Neuroscience Lab at University of Delaware.

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Articles (5)

Using Wearable Passive Sensing to Predict Binge Eating in Response to Negative Affect Among Individuals With Transdiagnostic Binge Eating: Protocol for an Observational Study

JMIR Research Protocols

2023 Background: Binge eating (BE), characterized by eating a large amount of food accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating, is a public health crisis. Negative affect is a well-established antecedent for BE. The affect regulation model of BE posits that elevated negative affect increases momentary risk for BE, as engaging in BE alleviates negative affect and reinforces the behavior. The eating disorder field’s capacity to identify moments of elevated negative affect, and thus BE risk, has exclusively relied on ecological momentary assessment (EMA).

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Feedback Related Negativity Amplitude is Greatest Following Deceptive Feedback in Autistic Adolescents

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

2023 The purpose of this study is to investigate if feedback related negativity (FRN) can capture instantaneous elevated emotional reactivity in autistic adolescents. A measurement of elevated reactivity could allow clinicians to better support autistic individuals without the need for self-reporting or verbal conveyance. The study investigated reactivity in 46 autistic adolescents (ages 12–21 years) completing the Affective Posner Task which utilizes deceptive feedback to elicit distress presented as frustration.

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Peers, play, and performance to build social salience in autistic youth: A multisite randomized clinical trial

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

2023 Objective Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have significant impairment in social competence and reduced social salience. SENSE Theatre, a peer-mediated, theater-based intervention has demonstrated posttreatment gains in face memory and social communication. The multisite randomized clinical trial compared the Experimental (EXP; SENSE Theatre) to an Active Control Condition (ACC; Tackling Teenage Training, TTT) at pretest, posttest, and follow-up. It was hypothesized that the EXP group would demonstrate greater incidental face memory (IFM) and better social behavior (interaction with novel peers) and social functioning (social engagement in daily life) than the ACC group, and posttest IFM would mediate the treatment effect on follow-up social behavior and functioning.

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Impact of trait impulsivity on frontal asymmetry during motivational conflict

International Journal of Psychophysiology

2023 Methods: Sixty-three right-handed participants completed the UPPS-P measure of impulsivity, then completed a modified approach-avoidance conflict task while EEG was recorded. In the task, participants selected their preference of interacting with an aversive, negative picture under a variety of reward conditions, or an appetitive, positive picture. Then, they viewed the images. Approach-avoidance conflict was created from choosing to view a negative picture for either 1, 3, or 6 points. During decision making and picture viewing, alpha band activity (8-13 Hz) was assessed and used to create asymmetry scores at frontal sites.

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New advancements in the neuroscience of personality and individual differences

International Journal of Psychophysiology

2023 Long Abstract: The symposium consists of four presentations of recent EEG research findings disclosing new advancements in the neuroscience of personality and individual differences. The first presentation consists of a study investigating how trait impulsivity relates to frontal asymmetry during motivational conflict at two points of conflict: during a decision-making phase and when engaging motivational control during stimulus engagement. The Alpha band activity (8-13 Hz) was assessed and used to calculate frontal asymmetry scores during decision-making and picture viewing.

Research Grants (2)

A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement (EASE) Program for ASD

U.S. Department of Defense $535,458


RAPID: Approach-Avoidance Tendencies to Pathogen-Salience as a Function of Uncertainty and Regional COVID-19 Infection Rates

National Science Foundation $77,472

Principal Investigator

Accomplishments (6)

Early Career Award winner from the Society for the Science of Motivation


College of Arts & Sciences Leadership Board Fellow (professional)


Fellow Society of Experimental and Social Psychology (professional)


SEC Travel Grant-Travel Award (professional)


Distinguished Faculty Research Award (professional)


Student Mentoring Award (professional)

2012, 2013

Education (3)

Texas A&M University: PhD, Psychology 2010

Texas A&M University: MS, Psychology 2007

Ouachita University: BA, Psychology and History 2005

Affiliations (10)

  • American Psychological Association
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • Society for Experimental and Social Psychology
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research
  • Society for the Study of Motivation
  • European Association of Social Psychology
  • Society for the Study of Motivation
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research
  • International Congress of Psychophysiology

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (5)

Peaking Inside the Black Box: Neural Correlates of Consumer Motivation

(2018) J.M Smuckers Research & Development  Orville, OH

Emotional engineering for product research and design

(2017) J.M Smuckers Research and Development  Los Angeles, CA

Consumer Motivation to Novel Products: Product Design and Marketing

(2018) Impossible Foods  Los Angeles, CA

The role of right hemisphere regulation in impulsivity and alcohol cue reactivity

University of New South Wales  Sydney, Australia

Influence of Approach Motivation on Affect, Cognition, and Neurophysiology

(2017) Auburn University  Alabama