Psychological Science Professor to Present at Virtual Conference

University of Arkansas

Department of Psychological Science associate professor Jennifer Veilleux will be presenting her research at a free virtual conference on Friday, May 1.

The conference will be hosted by LifeData, a company focused on mobile phone based applications for real-time data capture often called "experience sampling" or "ecological momentary assessment." With this methodology, researchers collect data from people as they live their everyday lives by prompting them to complete brief repeated surveys via their mobile phones. 

Veilleux will present some of her work using ecological momentary assessment to study self-reported momentary willpower.

"People often talk about willpower as something as a person characteristic or trait, like 'he has no willpower!' But willpower is also something we use in moments," she said. "If there is a plate of cookies on the counter, we might need willpower to resist eating more than one cookie. Or we might use willpower to get ourselves off the couch to go for a run. My lab and I ask people to report on how much willpower they feel like they have at that moment — sort of a snapshot of how self-efficicaous people feel to be able to use self-control right then and there."

She will present on the relationships between momentary willpower perceptions and momentary emotion, both measured using ecological momentary assessment.

When LifeData realized that due to the COVID-19 pandemic many researchers would be unable to present their findings at conferences, they decided to host a virutal conference to allow for online research dissemention. All of the conference presenters use ecological momentary assessment in some format in their work. Roy Baumeister, an internationally renowned expert on self-control and the role of free will in behavior, will be the keynote speaker.

The conference is free. Anyone interested can register at

Veilleux thinks the conference will allow viewers to learn about the flexibliity of LifeData as a method, to see how experience sampling can be used to answer many different types of questions across fields.

"I'm excited to present my work, which will cover three different studies looking at momentary willpower in smokers, chronic dieters, and people with features of borderline personality pathology," Veilleux said. I'm also excited to hear about how other people are using LifeData to collect data from people during daily life."


Jennifer C Veilleux, associate professor
Department of Psychological Science


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