I’m a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. My research investigates interpersonal relationships, emotions, nonverbal behavior, and groups/teams. I integrate theories of social psychology, sociology, and organizational behavior, and use methods of psychophysiology, behavioral coding, survey measures, and various statistical models to discover answers to the question What makes people ‘gel’?” 

My work is supported by the National Science Foundation, and I have extensive teaching and mentoring experience. If you would like more information, feel free to contact me or see my CV/resume. 


Current Projects

  • How is entrainment related to coordinated behavioral movements?  This project explores the effect(s) of rhythmic entrainment on one's emotions and how it may affect performance with a partner on a coordination task.  

  • What value do rituals, diversity, and positive relationships bring to the workplace?   This project looks into the facilitation and maintenance of social cohesion in work teams, with a focus on synchrony and leadership during a joint task.  

  • What can nonverbal behaviors tell us about the thoughts and feelings of two strangers interacting for the first time?  I'm particularly interested in facial and nonverbal expressions of affilation, romantic attraction, and a sense of 'we' that arise during initial interaction.  
Publications & Presentations


Research Articles:
  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). Strangers in sync: Achieving embodied rapport      through shared movements. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 399-402.
    doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.07.015
  • Kok, B. E., Coffey, K. A., Cohn, M. A., Catalino, L. I., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Algoe, S., Brantley, M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). Positive emotions drive an upward spiral that links social connections and health. Psychological Science, 24,1123-1132.
    doi: doi: 10.1177/0956797612470827
  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (2015). Synchrony in positive relationships. In C. R. Knee and H. T. Reis (Eds.) Positive Approaches to Optimal Relationship Development.
  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2013). One decade later: An update of the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions in organizations. In A. B. Bakker (Ed.) Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology, Vol. 1. UK: Emerald.
  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (under review). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. In M. Salama-Younes, & A. D. Fave (Eds.) Positive Psychology for All: Introduction, Concepts and Applications and in School Age.
  • Sekerka, L. E., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). Positive Emotions: Broadening and building upward spirals of sustainable development. In K. Cameron, and G. Spreitzer (Eds.) Handbook of Positive Organizational Scholarship, 2nd Edition. Oxford university Press.
  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Sekerka, L. E., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). Establishing a Positive Emotional Climate to Create Twenty-first Century Organizational Change. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. M. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson (Eds.) Handbook of Organizational Culture and Climate, 2nd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Presentations & Posters

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (February, 2015). 3quilibrium: Extensions of a dyadic behavior in groups of three. Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Long Beach, CA.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (August, 2014). Moving toward collective mindsets: An investigation of group-based synchrony in work teams. Academy of Management. Philadelphia, PA.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Trawalter, S., & Quinn, K. (July, 2014). Social gravitation: Evidence for entrainment among in-group interactants (but not out-group ones). European Association of Social Psychology. Amsterdam, Netherlands.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (August, 2013). Positive emotions, team cohesion, and performance: A structural equation model of student work teams. International Society for Research on Emotion. Berkeley, CA.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (March, 2012). You can’t hurry love: Nonverbal backfire in newly acquainted dyads. Social Psychology UNC-Duke Conference. Durham, NC.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (January, 2012). Strangers in sync: Achieving social coordination through shared movements. Nonverbal Behavioral Preconference. San Diego, CA.

  • Lembke, J., Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (April, 2012). Curiosity and interest in interpersonal interactions. Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (January, 2012). Identifying the nonverbal correlates of love in newly acquainted dyads. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (May, 2009).  Working together as one: The role of emotions in achieving social coordination. Association for Psychological Science Conference. San Francisco, CA.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. & Fredrickson, B. L. (February, 2009). How Sweet It Is: The Effects of Glucose on Emotions. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference. Tampa, FL.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T., Peters, J. A., McDonald, P., Hoskins, L. M., Loud, J. T., & Greene, M. H. (August, 2008). It’s What You Don’t Say: Nonverbal Behaviors in Counselor Interactions with BRCA1/2 -positive Women. National Institutes of Health Summer Research Festival. Bethesda, MD.

  • Vacharkulksemsuk, T. (August, 2006). Breaking Down Barriers: The Effect of Power Differences on Closeness in Cross-Race Friendships. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program Presentations. Berkeley, CA.