Paolo Riva

Assistant Professor


Paolo Riva is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology of the University of Milano-Bicocca. His research interests lie broadly in social influence processes with a specific focus on the need to belong and its threats, including social exclusion, ostracism, and rejection, examining the consequences of exclusion and the possible strategies to buffer against and reduce its effects. Currently, his work branches out on three main lines of research. The first line of research investigates the impact of digital technologies on social connections and isolation processes. Another line of research focuses on the effects of social exclusion in real groups, investigating risks and protective factors in groups of prisoners, homeless, and migrants. The third line of research explored brain mechanisms involved in emotion regulation following social exclusion.

Dr. Riva’s background comes from social and personality psychology; nevertheless, his approach is interdisciplinary. He integrates theory and methodology from social psychology with those that come from other areas of psychology (e.g., cognitive, clinical, developmental psychology, and social neuroscience) to inform his hypotheses and the designs of his studies.





Kelley, N. J., Gallucci, A., Riva, P., Romero Lauro, L. J., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2019). Stimulating self-regulation: a review of non-invasive brain stimulation studies of goal-directed behavior. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience12, 337.

Vergallito, A., Riva, P., Pisoni, A., & Lauro, L. J. R. (2018). Modulation of negative emotions through anodal tDCS over the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex. Neuropsychologia119, 128-135.                      

Gallucci, A., Riva, P., Lauro, L. J. R., & Bushman, B. J. (2020). Stimulating the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) modulates frustration-induced aggression: A tDCS experiment. Brain stimulation13(2), 302-309.

Riva, P., Manfrinati, A., Sacchi, S., Pisoni, A., & Lauro, L. J. R. (2019). Selective changes in moral judgment by noninvasive brain stimulation of the medial prefrontal cortex. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience19(4), 797-810.

Venturini, E., Riva, P., Serpetti, F., Romero, L., Pallavincini, F., Mantovani, F., … & Parsons, T. D. (2016). A comparison of 3D versus 2D virtual environments on the feelings of social exclusion, inclusion and over-inclusion. Annu. Rev. Cyber Ther. Telemed14, 89-94

Riva, P., Romero Lauro, L. J., DeWall, C. N., Chester, D. S., & Bushman, B. J. (2015). Reducing aggressive responses to social exclusion using transcranial direct current stimulation. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience10(3), 352-356.           

Riva, P., Romero Lauro, L. J., Vergallito, A., DeWall, C. N., & Bushman, B. J. (2015). Electrified emotions: modulatory effects of transcranial direct stimulation on negative emotional reactions to social exclusion. Social neuroscience10(1), 46-54.