Lillian Döllinger Foto: Psykologiska institutionen/HD

Lillian Döllinger


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 38 01
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 8
Room B216
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.

I’m involved in a variety of other ongoing research projects, e.g. in emotion psychology, psychotherapy education research, research on refugees and asylum seekers, attachment theory, psychology of religion and spiritual experiences, biological psychology and affective neuroscience. I’m interested in how human communication is driven by unconscious processes, and factors and patterns outside of our immediate awareness, e.g. affective processes, transference, body language, attachment patterns, biological processes, coping mechanisms and dual systems theories. 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 teaching and supervising in the courses Personality Psychology (Psykologprogrammet, term 3, with course responsibility), Personality Psychology (Psychologi II), Cognition (Psychology I) and Scientific Methods and Statistics (Psykologi I).

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


Administration and councils

I'm 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 reading, writing, working and supervising students in English, Swedish and German (mothertongue).


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.

  • 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. Lillian Döllinger (et al.).
  • 2016. Isabelle Letellier (et al.).
  • 2016. Isabelle Letellier (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: January 30, 2019

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