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Faculty researcher at MSU recognized by leading international psychological organization

February 13, 2018 |

The creator of a nationally recognized laboratory in Mississippi State University’s Department of Psychology is being recognized as an APS Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.

Licensed psychologist and assistant professor E. Samuel “Sam” Winer joins approximately 180 “outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-Ph.D. whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions,” according to APS.

“Dr. Winer has published many important papers in our field, including a seminal paper in Psychological Bulletin, which is a flagship journal of the American Psychological Association,” said Mitchell Berman, head of MSU’s Department of Psychology.

Citing the development of an “innovative and clever method” to study how people regulate their emotional experiences, Berman said Winer’s research has received national and international attention among emotion researchers and has “important implications for better understanding disorders of emotion, such as depression and anxiety.”

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Winer investigates how people dealing with depression process positively rewarding stimuli. He said there is an extent to which depressed individuals devalue reward, due to perceived threats.

“The work emerging from my laboratory examines how people with and without clinical symptoms process emotional information,” Winer said, “and in particular how and why people come to avoid what seems to an outside observer to be things that are potentially rewarding.”

Giselle Thibaudeau, associate dean for research in MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, said Winer’s lab adds “significant value to the discipline, department, university and community.” His research has the ultimate goal of developing “concrete application in helping clinicians better understand, identify and treat people experiencing psychological crisis,” Thibaudeau added.

“Mississippi State has been a really wonderful place to build my independent program of research,” Winer said. “I have been continuously supported by the Department of Psychology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and at each level of the university, and I am most grateful.”

He added that he feels fortunate to work with “tremendous graduate and undergraduate students, colleagues and collaborators at MSU.”

Since joining MSU in 2012, Winer has received approximately $825,000 in grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. He currently is the principal investigator of a $417,379 three-year NIMH grant for research on reward devaluation, positive valence systems disturbance and impairment.

To date, Winer has received more than $1 million in total funding, including grants for projects on which he has served as co-investigator with his colleague Michael Nadorff, also an MSU assistant professor of psychology. Winer said his two NIMH grants likely were helpful in his recent recognition as an APS Rising Star.

Winer earned a psychology doctoral degree in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he also received a bachelor’s in English and master’s in psychology in 2003 and 2008, respectively. At MSU, he has taught courses in psychopathology, abnormal psychology, systems of psychotherapy and personality appraisal.

Author of 30 published works, Winer is recipient of the 2017 Social and Behavioral Sciences Faculty Research Award and 2017 Annual Faculty Research Award, both presented by the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s largest academic unit.

Winer also has served as a member of MSU’s Psychology Department Diversity Committee and College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate. He is founder and organizer of the MSU Clinical Psychology Departmental Colloquium. For more, visit

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Complete details on the college can be found at; its Department of Psychology at

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