Assistant Professor

Marketing Department, College of Business, Clemson University

252 Sirrine Hall, office 259, Clemson, SC 29634

Phone 760-822-7262; email



Ph.D., Yale University, 2014 Social Psychology

M. Phil., Yale University, 2012 Social Psychology

M. S., Yale University, 2011 Social Psychology

B. A., California State University San Marcos, 2009 Psychology

A. A., Palomar Community College, 2007 Social and Behavioral Sciences



Emotion, Emotion Expression, Processing of Facial Cues

Aragón, O. R. & Bargh, J. A. (2017). “So happy I could shout!” and “So happy I could cry!” Dimorphous expressions represent and communicate motivational aspects of positive emotions. Cognition and Emotion, in press.

Aragón, O. R. (2017). "Tears of Joy" and "Tears and Joy?" Personal accounts of dimorphous and mixed expressions of emotion. Motivation and Emotion, in press. doi:10.1007/s11031-017-9606-x

Aragón, O. R. (2016). "I couldn't help but to cry!" "I couldn't help but to yell 'Yes!'" Dimorphous expressions inform consumers of users' motivational orientations. Advances in Consumer Research, 44.

Aragón, O. R., Clark, M. S., Dyer, R. L., & Bargh, J. A. (2015). Dimorphous expressions of emotion: Evidence of concept in aggressive displays toward cute stimuli. Psychological Science, 26 (3), 259-273.

Aragón, O. R., Sharer, E. A., Bargh, J. A., & Pineda, J. A. (2014). Modulations of mirroring activity by desire for social connection and relevance of movement. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 9, 1762-1769.

Aragón, O. R. (2014). Factors in understanding and emotional engagement during real-time interactions. Doctoral dissertation, Yale University.

Pineda, J. A., Bai, J.-M., Aragón, O. R., et al., (2012). The impact of plasticity-induced rehabilitation training on face processing in high functioning autism: A mu rhythm perspective. Advances in Psychology Research, 91, 235-263.

 Interpersonal Relationships

Clark, M.S., Beck, L. A., & Aragón, O. R. (forthcoming). Relationship Initiation: Bridging the Gap Between Initial Attraction and Well-Functioning Communal Relationships. APA Handbook of Contemporary Family Psychology, Vol.1, Chapter 23.

Clark, M. S., Aragón, O. R., & Hirsch, J. L. (2015). Social relationships in adulthood. Interpersonal Relationships. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition. James Wright (ed.).

Clark, M. S. & Aragón, O. R. (2013). Communal (and other) relationships: History, theory development, recent findings, and future directions. The Oxford Handbook of Close Relationships, 255-280.

Diversity & Education

Cavanagh, A., J., Aragón, O. R., Chen, X., Couch, B., Hurham, M., Bobrownicki, A., Hanauer, D. I., & Graham, M. (2016). Student buy-in to active learning in college science course. CBE-Life Sciences Education, (15) 4, ar76. doi: 10.1187/cbe.16-07-0212

Aragón, O. R., Dovidio, J. F., & Graham, M. J. (2016). Colorblind and multicultural ideologies are associated with faculty adoption of inclusive teaching practices. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, in press.

Aragón, O. R., Clark, M. S., & Graham, M. J. (2014). Summer undergraduate research programs and female students’ mastery, self-efficacy and academic persistence. Published Proceedings of Northeastern Educational Research Association. Guilford, CT.


Pineda, J. A., Pelton, H., Aragón, O. R., et al., (2011). Behavioral and electrophysiological characterization of induced neural plasticity in the autistic brain. Autism: A Neurodevelopmental Journey from Genes to Behaviour, Dr. Valsamma Eapen (Ed.), 445-462.

Other Publications

Aragón, O. R. (2017). The connection between emotion and crying. Scientific American Mind, Nature Publishing Group, (28)2, 74.

Aragón, O. R. & Graham, M. J. (2015). Report on the National Academies of Science Summer Institute Census Survey. Research in education. National Academies of Sciences, 1- 58.

Aragón, O. R. (2015). Tears of Joy; Dimorphous Expressions. Das Gehirn.

Aragón, O. R., (2013). Why do we feel compelled to pinch the cheeks of babies? TED Weekends. Invited commentary on Dan Dennett’s Cute, Sexy, Sweet, Funny. TED Talks.

Aragón, O. R. (2013). Why do we want to squeeze cute kittens. Science + Religion.



Selected Conference Presentations

Aragón, O. R., Fernández-Dols, J-M., Aviezer, H., & Russell, J. (2017). Symposium: Characterizing the nature of naturalistic emotional experience, expression, and recognition. International Convention of Psychological Science; Vienna, Austria. Chair and presentation.

Aragón, O. R. (2016). “I couldn’t help but to cry!” “I couldn’t help but to yell “Yes!”” Dimorphous expressions inform consumers of users’ motivational orientations. Association for Consumer Research Conference; Berlin, Germany. Competitive paper.

Aragón, O. R. (2016). Emotion regulation responses from close others differ when happiness is expressed with smiles versus tears. CERE Emotion conference. Leiden, The Netherlands. Symposium presentation.

Aragón, O. R. (2015). A process model of adoption of scientific teaching practices in STEM. National Academies of Science, NASTA meeting, Washington, D. C. Platform presentation.

Aragón, O. R. & Clark, M. S. (2013). Testing a model of relationship initiation: Strategic self-presentation, partner evaluation, and self-protection. Data Blitz session, Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Aragón, O. R. (2012). Moderating factors in emotion perception, expression and reactivity. American Psychological Society Conference, Chicago, IL. Symposium chair and presentation.

Aragón, O. R., Dyer, L., Bargh, J. A. & Clark, M. S. (2013). “You’re so cute I could…” Faux- aggressive responses to cute stimuli. Four College      Conference, Princeton University,


Selected Featured Research & Appearances

National Geographic, "This is why we find 'ugly' animals cute," by Liz Langley, 2017

The Atlantic, "The politically subversive power of puppies," by Matthew Sedacca. 2017

CNN, "Watching cute cat videos is instinctive and good for you-- seriously," by Nadia Kounang, 2016

Brains On, "What makes cute things so cute?" by Molly Bloom, MPR, 2016

Scientific American Mind, “Why do we cry when we are happy?” by M. Wenner Moyer, 2015

Dogs: Their Secret Lives, Channel 4, UK, replication of “bubble-wrap” study. June 2015.

BBC, QI, "Measure aggression with cute kittens and bubble wrap," Series , Episode 15, 2014

Good Morning America, ABC, interview on dimorphous expressions of emotion, 2014

The Atlantic, “The science of laughing through tears.” by A. Giambrone, November 2014.

Time Magazine, “The weird reason happy things make you cry.” by R. Swalin, November 2014.

Discovery News, “Why do we cry when we are happy?” November 2014.

Beyond the Lab, ABC News radio, interview on responses to cute stimuli, with D. Murray, February 2014.

Scientific American Mind, “Cuteness inspires aggression” by C. Arnold, July 2013.

Science Online, “I wanna eat you up! Why we go crazy for cute.” by S. Pappas, 2013.

University of San Francisco, Science Café Radio Program, interview on Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2008.


Clemson University R-Initiatives, Clemson Support for Early Exploration and Development (CU SEED) Grant, July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.

Robert H. Brooks Sports Science Institute at Clemson University, March 1, 2017.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), T-34 Grant, Minority Access to Research Careers, September 2007 to May 2009.


Zimbardo Dissertation Prize 2014

Richard W. Woodward Fellow, Scholarship Award 2013

Graduate Student Diversity Award, Society for Personality & Social Psychology 2012

Yale Graduate Travel Fellowship 2011, 2012

Thomas and Margaret Myers Fellow, Scholarship Award, Yale University 2010

California Research Competition, Award Recipient 2009

President’s Circle Award Scholarship, Calif. State University, San Marcos 2008, 2009

J. Douglas and Marian R. Pardee Foundation Scholarship 2007, 2008

California State Research Competition Championship 2008

Jean and W. Keith Kellogg Foundation Scholarship, National Award 2007, 2008

Neuroscience Award, Assoc. for Biological Research Careers for Minority Students 2007

Bridges to the Future – Bridges Scholar, National Award 2006, 2007



Courses: Consumer Behavior, Human Emotions, Marketing Metrics, and Personality Psychology

Workshops: Yale Statistics Laboratory Workshop Series- Research Study Design, SPSS Beginning and Intermediate, SPSS Intermediate and Advanced, Statistics for the Psychological Sciences, Survey Design


American Marketing Association

American Psychological Society

Association for Consumer Research

Society for Personality and Social Psychology



Research Committee, College of Business Clemson University, (2016 - current)

Latino Affairs Commission, executive board, Clemson University (2017- current)

Dissertation Committee, Min Kyung Lee advisor Aleda Roth, Clemson University (2017- current)

Workplace Climate Survey Committee, Yale University (2015 -2016)

Social Lunch Co-Chair, Psychology Department, Yale University (2011-2012) 
Colloquium Committee, Psychology Department, Yale University (2011-2012)
Visiting Day Committee, Psychology Department, Yale University (2011-2012)
Diversity Recruiter, Office for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Yale University (2010 -2012)
Latino Graduate Student Society, President, Yale University (2010-2011)


Service to Scientific Community

Review for: Academy for Marketing Science, Brain Science, Emotion, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Pearson Education, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Visual Studies