Dr. Erika Carlson's research examines how well people know themselves and their reputation. Her primary line of research examines if, when, and how people figure out their reputation. In a second line of research, Dr. Carlson examines bright spots and blind spots in self-knowledge of personality traits as well as whether self-knowledge can be improved. For example, can mindfulness interventions improve self-knowledge of our patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving? Dr. Carlson also studies personality pathology in the context of self-knowledge. When is pathology related to poor insight into one’s traits versus poor insight into the impact one has on others?
Dr. Alison Chasteen is interested in stereotyping, prejudice, and stigma across the adult lifespan. She investigates issues from both the perceiver’s and the target’s perspective. In a second line of research, Dr. Chasteen is interested in examining cognitive processes such as memory and attention within a social context.
Dr. Felix Cheung's research examines the determinants and consequences of subjective well-being across diverse populations, with a focus on addressing pressing global issues (e.g., sociopolitical unrest, income inequality, and terrorism). In a second line of research, Dr. Cheung focuses on meta-science (the scientific study of science) and examines how the reliability of scientific findings can be potentially improved by 'Big Science' (i.e., studies done by large collaborative teams), open science practices (e.g., pre-registration and data sharing), and research incentives. Together, these two lines of research seek to promote population well-being based on sound empirical research.
Dr. Joanne Chung's research focuses on how aspects of people’s culture, self-concept, and emotional life interact to shape individual differences during important life transitions. Currently, Dr. Chung is co-director of the Karakter project, a longitudinal study focused on exploring how everyday emotional experiences are related to positive personality change in Syrian origin young adults who have recently resettled in the Netherlands. This work in particular has informed her current research goal, which is to use her training and expertise in the areas of personality, social, developmental, and quantitative psychology to conduct research in partnership with members of the community.
Dr. William Cunningham studies the cognitive and motivational processes underlying emotional responses. Current research examines how motivation and emotion-regulation (which can occur at both automatic and controlled levels of processing) contribute to emotional and evaluative states. This work suggests that affective states are constructed moment to moment from multiple component processes that integrate relevant information from various sources such as automatically activated attitudes and situational contexts. To understand these processes, his lab uses methods and theories from psychology (e.g., models of attitudes and latency-based evaluation measures) and cognitive science (e.g., biological models of emotion, fMRI/EEG methods, computational modelling).
Dr. Norman Farb studies the neuroscience of human identity and emotion, with a focus on how cognitive biases shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. To these ends, Dr. Farb's work draws from multiple levels of analysis, including first and third-person qualitative reports, behavioral task performance, physiological responses, and patters of neural activity and connectivity derived through functional MRI. He is particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindful meditation foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to affective disorders such as depression.
Dr. Brett Ford’s research examines the basic science and health implications of how individuals think about and manage their emotions. Her research uses multi-method and interdisciplinary approaches — including experiential, behavioural, and physiological assessments — to examine the structure of emotion beliefs and emotion regulation strategies, the cultural, biological, and psychological factors that shape these beliefs and strategies, and their implications for health and well-being.
Dr. Marc Fournier's research focuses on personality, person × situation interactions, and interpersonal processes. Dr. Fournier is particularly interested in both the within-person processes that give rise to the individual’s unified and integrated sense of self and the between-person processes that give rise to the hierarchical dimensions of the social order. He uses a range of methods for both naturalistic and laboratory-based personality assessment, including event-contingent recording, behavioural observation, round-robin rating, and narrative coding.
Dr. Cendri Hutcherson's research focuses on understanding why people make the decisions they do, why they so often make decisions they regret, and how we can help them make better choices for themselves and others. To answer these questions, Dr. Hutcherson's lab focuses on building sophisticated computational and neural models of decision making and self-control. Ultimately, this research will be used to design better interventions and technological tools to help people achieve their goals and live healthier, happier lives.
Dr. Emily Impett's research is focused on topics at the intersection of relationships and well-being. In particular, Dr. Impett seeks to understand the impact of sacrifice on relationships and the power of gratitude in intimate bonds. She also aims to understand factors that enable couples to keep the sexual spark alive over the course of their relationship, as well as predictors of relationship success during important life transitions such as the transition to parenthood and partnered job relocation. Dr. Impett is highly committed to the use of rich, ecologically valid methods-including experience sampling, longitudinal, and dyadic methods, to understand how relationships shape well-being.
Dr. Yoel Inbar studies how intuitions and emotions—particularly disgust—affect our social, political, and moral beliefs. Dr. Inbar's earliest work was on how differences in the experience of disgust relate to social and political attitudes. Since then, he has studied the varied ways in which moral intuitions guide beliefs and judgments, especially in social and political domains. Most recently, he has become interested in understanding the acceptance or rejection of new technologies, such as genetic engineering.
Dr. Michael Inzlicht conducts research that sits at the boundaries of social psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. Although he has published papers on the topics of prejudice, stigmatization, and academic performance, his current research interests concern work and play. His research on work or effort is mostly on the topics of self-control and motivation, but also includes research on the mentally demanding nature of empathy. His work on play or leisure is a relatively new direction for Dr. Inzlicht and includes research on digital device use, social media, and recreational drug use.
Dr. Lee's current projects pertain to morality and politics, social class and culture, irrational judgments and decisions, psychological essentialism and lay beliefs, cleanliness and purity, contagion and magic, beauty and aesthetics, pleasure and pain, and goals and priming. Methodological approaches range from cognitive and behavioral experiments to psychophysiology to meta-analysis. In terms of theoretical goals, Dr. Lee explores how the mind interacts with the body in multiple ways; why mind-body relations are often predicted by the metaphors we use; when and how metaphors influence emotion, motivation, judgment, and behavior; what cognitive principles govern these effects; and how they vary by experimental, social, and cultural contexts.
Dr. Penelope Lockwood's research focuses on individuals' responses to social comparisons. In particular, Dr. Lockwood has focused on the ways in which people can be motivated by positive role models (individuals who have achieved stellar success) and negative role models (individuals who have experienced failure in some domain). In a second line of research, Dr. Lockwood has examined the extent to which dating and married individuals are motivated or demoralized by the example of a very successful or unsuccessful couple. Another line of research Dr. Lockwood is pursuing pertains to the extent to which individuals engage in pro-environmental behaviours.
Dr. Geoff MacDonald's lab focuses on issues of social connection and disconnection. He is well versed in attachment theory, and has spent a lot of time working on issues around the intersection of attachment avoidance and intimacy. More recently, his research has focused on predictors of well-being among singles. Some broader issues that interest him include thinking about attachment theory in light of longitudinal findings on the relatively small role of childhood treatment in adult attachment security, the role of Big 5 Personality traits in attraction and maintenance of relationships, and better understanding what people are doing psychologically when they let go of a close relationship.
Dr. Rebecca Neel’s research seeks to understand how our beliefs (e.g., stereotypes about who is dangerous or powerful, beliefs about whether people can change) and motivations (e.g., to protect ourselves, to be a part of social groups, to find romantic partners, to care for family members) shape who we value, fear, or ignore. Much of her current work focuses on understanding social invisibility: why are some social groups ignored and treated with indifference? How does the experience of being invisible differ from being seen as a threat to others?
Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould's Research focuses on how social interactions between strangers and friends affect the way people think about and approach the world, particularly within the domain of intergroup relations. Dr. Page-Gould's lab specializes in multi-person, longitudinal, psychophysiological, and behavioural data collection across both laboratory and field settings. The lab also specializes in advanced statistical analysis and quantitative innovation. Both the research conducted in Dr. Page-Gould's lab and the training environment the lab offers represent a unique combination of advanced research methods from social psychology, psychophysiology, and statistics.
Dr. Jason Plaks is interested in the links between cognition and motivation. Much of the research in his laboratory focuses on laypeople's implicit theories. Current projects investigate beliefs around moral judgments (when do people focus on following rules versus maximizing positive outcomes?), genetics (do beliefs about genetics predict stereotyping and prejudicial behaviors?), and the fixedness versus malleability of personality (do older adults' theories about personality influence their memory performance and motivation?).
Dr. Nicholas Rule's research primarily focuses on how, and how well, people categorize others in perceptually ambiguous groups (i.e., groups without obvious perceptual markers). Studies from Dr. Rule's lab show that people can accurately categorize others based on their sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, social class, health, personality traits, and leadership success. More surprising, people can do this rapidly, nonconsciously, and with minimal information (e.g., nonverbal or appearance cues). Dr. Rule's lab takes creative and unique approaches to studying social perception and cognition in order to achieve a better understanding of how individuals perceive, categorize, and make sense of the world.
Dr. Jennifer Stellar's research examines the forces that drive prosociality and morality to understand how people transcend their own self-focus to care about other people, groups, and society as a whole. Specifically, Dr. Stellar investigates how self-transcendent emotions (e.g., compassion, awe, etc.) promote empathy and altruism toward another person, encourage cooperation and cohesion within groups, and enhance the health and well-being of the individual. Dr. Stellar also explores how individuals encourage moral behavior and uphold moral norms through expressing moral outrage toward transgressors, relying on moral character to inform other impressions, and allowing others to regain moral status through redemption.
Dr. Andre Wang's program of research incorporates insights and methods from social, cognitive, and quantitative psychology to better understand the connection between abstract ideas and concrete experiences. One of the human mind’s most impressive feats is to think beyond the here and now: People can generate predictions about the future, make inferences about their general preferences from specific experiences, and reason about broad moral values. These abstract ideas allow people to navigate a world beyond their immediate experience. But where do these abstract ideas come from? What happens when people’s abstract ideas—about themselves, other people, and the world—become disconnected from actual, context-specific experiences?