Ali’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Her work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a notable and consistent demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body. She is interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes outside the realm of medicine, in the domains of behavioral health and organizational behavior. More specifically, Alia aims to understand how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness.
In addition to her academic research and teaching, Alia has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and as an organizational trainer and consultant, creating, delivering, and evaluating workshops on conflict and stress management to organizations including UBS, Colgate Palmolive and the Navy SEALS. Her work was recently featured on NPR’s Morning Edition.