Lillian Döllinger, porträtt. Foto: Niklas Björling

Lillian Döllinger


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 38 01
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 14
Room B 114
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me



I'm writing my dissertation in the interdisciplinary research project Improving psychotherapeutic competences using socioemotional perceptual training procedures (Division of Clinical Psychology & Division of Biological Psychology) with Stephan Hau and Håkan Fischer. In randomized controlled trials, we investigate novice psychotherapists’ emotion recognition accuracy and how this ability can be trained within the practical clinical psychology education. Further, we want to find out how emotion recognition accuracy and the training of this ability influences the psychotherapies that the psychotherapists in training conduct under supervision at the university psychotherapy clinic. The project is funded by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation.

Beyond that, I’m also involved in a variety of other research projects (experimental psychology, affective neuroscience, conceptual studies), e.g. in emotion psychology, psychotherapy education research, attachment research, psychology of religion and spiritual experiences, or research on mental health of refugees and asylum seekers.

I’m interested in nonverbal behavior and how human communication is driven by unconscious processes and factors and patterns that can lie outside of our immediate awareness, like affects, transference, body language, attachment, psychophysiological responses, coping mechanisms, etc. I'm particularly passionate about investigating psychodynamic concepts with experimental psychological and neuroscientific methods. However, it is important to me to be open for different kinds of research methods and to bridge gaps between disciplines.



I'm course responsible for the course Personality Psychology (Psykologprogram, term 3) and currently teach in the courses Personality Psychology (Psykologprogram, term 3), Personality Theory (Psychologi II) and Psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic treatment 2 (psykologprogram, term 7). In the past I have been a teacher in the courses Cognition (Psychology I), Scientific Methods and Statistics (Psykologi I), Personality Psychology (PAO program), Psychology from a lifespan perspective (logopedprogram).

Students who want to write their essays in one of my research fields (e.g. emotion, attachment, psychotherapy, education, cognition, ...) or neighbouring subjects are welcome to contact me.


Administration and councils

In the last years I have been involved in different student representative positions (e.g. vice president of the Psychology PhD council, Lärarförslagsnämnd 1, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakultetsrådet). Currently I hold the position of doctoral student representative in the education committee (utbildningsutskott) at the Department of Psychology. I'm a founding member of Women in Psychology Stockholm (WIPS), a group supporting information, networking and mentoring among women working at the department of psychology.



I'm fluently speaking English, Swedish and German (mothertongue) and welcome students for supervision in those languages.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Pehr Granqvist (et al.). Physiology and Behavior 198, 144-150

    When in a stressful situation, access to adult attachment figures (e.g., romantic partners) is an important means by which adults regulate stress responses. The practice of smelling a partner's worn garment is reported as a self-treatment against stress. Here, we experimentally determined whether exposure to a partner's body odor attenuates adults' subjective discomfort and psychophysiological responses, and whether such effects are qualified by adult attachment security. In a blocked design, participants (N = 34) were presented with their partner's body odor, their own body odor, the odor of a clean t-shirt and rose odor, while exposed to weak electric shocks to induce discomfort and stress responses. Results showed that partner body odor reduces subjective discomfort during a stressful event, as compared with the odor of oneself. Also, highly secure participants had attenuated skin conductance when exposed to partner odor. We conclude that partner odor is a scent of security, especially for attachment-secure adults.

  • 2018. Diana S. Cortes (et al.). Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience 13 (9), 921-932

    Intranasal oxytocin (OT) has previously been found to increase spirituality, an effect moderated by OT-related genotypes. This pre-registered study sought to conceptually replicate and extend those findings. Using a single dose of intranasal OT vs placebo (PL), we investigated experimental treatment effects, and moderation by OT-related genotypes on spirituality, mystical experiences, and the sensed presence of a sentient being. A more exploratory aim was to test for interactions between treatment and the personality disposition absorption on these spirituality-related outcomes. A priming plus sensory deprivation procedure that has facilitated spiritual experiences in previous studies was used. The sample (N = 116) contained both sexes and was drawn from a relatively secular context. Results failed to conceptually replicate both the main effects of treatment and the treatment by genotype interactions on spirituality. Similarly, there were no such effects on mystical experiences or sensed presence. However, the data suggested an interaction between treatment and absorption. Relative to PL, OT seemed to enhance spiritual experiences in participants scoring low in absorption and dampen spirituality in participants scoring high in absorption.

  • 2019. Lillian Döllinger (et al.).

    This study presents findings about the effectiveness of two computerized training-programs for emotion recognition accuracy that were evaluated in a double-blind randomized controlled study with repeated measures design. Both trainings are effective in training emotion recognition accuracy. The trainings and results are presented in detail and practical implications are discussed.

  • 2019. Lillian Döllinger (et al.).

    Background: Computerized trainings for emotion recognition accuracy (ERA) have shown to be successful, however, are often lacking external validity. The use of still pictures, the focus on the face, and limited response sets limit generalizability of findings. Further, trainings often use between-subjectsdesigns and short time intervals between, or same items for ERA training and outcome measure. In response, we developed and evaluated a multi-modal ERA training in a randomized controlled trial.

    Method: Seventy-two undergraduate students (M=24.7, SD=7.69, 75% women) signed up for the study; 68 completed all measurements. They were randomly assigned to the multimodal ERA training or one of two control conditions. The ERA outcome measure (ERAM; Laukka et al., 2015) assesses 12 emotions separately in three modalities (audio, video, audio-video) using 72 dynamic stimuli. The multimodal training consisted and immediate and extensive feedback using different items. The last training session and the ERA outcome measurement lay approximately one week apart.

    Results and Conclusions: A repeated-measures ANOVA with baseline as covariate showed a main effect of training on the ERAM, F(2/63) = 8.04, p < .001, ηp2 = .20. Bonferroni-corrected posthoc tests revealed the change for the multimodal training was significantly superior to the control conditions (p=.001; p=.003). Detailed results per modality and descriptive statistics will be presented. Due to its multimodal and dynamic nature, delay between training and outcome measure and use of different items, the multimodal training is a promising tool for training ERA in different contexts, like clinical settings, assessment procedures or law enforcement training.

  • 2017. Diana Cortes (et al.).

    In normal aging, people are confronted with impairment in both socioemotional and cognitive abilities. Specifically, there are age-related declines in inhibitory processes that regulate attention towards irrelevant material. In last years, the intranasal administration of the neuropeptide oxytocin has mainly been related to improvements in several domains such as emotion recognition and memory, but to date the effects of oxytocin in aging remain largely unknown. In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, within-subjects study design, we investigated whether oxytocin facilitates inhibitory processing in older adults compared to younger adults. In total, 41 older adults (51% women; age range 65-75 years) and 37 younger adults (49% women; age range 20-30 years) participated in this study two times, receiving a single intranasal dose of 40 IU of placebo and oxytocin in randomized order 45 minutes before engaging in the task. Participants were tested approximately a month apart and mostly at the same hour during both occasions. Inhibition was measured with a Go/NoGo task which included happy and neutral faces as targets (Go stimuli) and distractors (NoGo stimuli) shown on a computer screen. Participants were instructed to press a button any time they saw a target and remain passive when encountering a distractor. Preliminary results indicate effects for happy and neutral faces, but only in the distractor condition. For happy distractors, women rejected correctly happy faces more accurately than men did, both in the placebo and oxytocin conditions. A main effect of age was observed for the neutral distractors, where older adults were more successful in inhibiting responses than younger adults during oxytocin and placebo treatments. We did not observe effects of oxytocin in the different tasks. The role of oxytocin was not clear distinguished in the tasks. In sum, our findings showed that age and gender can influence inhibition but their effects depend on the displayed emotions. This suggests that the ability to inhibit interfering distractors may remain intact despite of age and that deficits in inhibition may be selective. The role of oxytocin in inhibition needs to be further investigated since it is possible that it is context dependent.

  • 2017. Lillian Döllinger.
  • 2016. Isabelle Letellier (et al.).
  • 2016. Isabelle Letellier (et al.).
  • 2016. Lillian Döllinger (et al.).
  • 2016. Amy R. Gordon (et al.).
  • 2016. Isabelle Letellier (et al.).
  • 2016. Amy R. Gordon (et al.).
  • 2016. Dominik Döllinger, Lillian Döllinger.
  • 2016. Lillian Döllinger.
  • 2015. Thomas E. Lindgren (et al.).

    There is a relatively large body of literature on how psychotherapy education should be taught and learned. Less attention has been directed towards how therapists learn. The aim of the present literature review is to consider research published from 2000 until present concerning learning processes in psychotherapy and supervision. The main questions were: What is the scope and quality of available research and what is considered known and unknown concerning how therapists learn to become psychotherapists. Search and selection criteria were developed and tested for reliability. Subsequent searches were performed using the Proquest multi database platform. An analysis of findings generated so far suggests a continued lack of research on how psychotherapists learn their trade. Implications of this finding are further discussed.

Show all publications by Lillian Döllinger at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 26, 2019

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