I currently teach courses in psychological research methods and social cognition. I coordinate two offerings of our second-year research methods course (175.203), an on-campus offering in Palmerston North and a distance offering. I also co-coordinate our postgraduate research design course (175.738) and teach a postgraduate social cognition special topics course. All course materials are available to students through Massey's Stream learning environment.
I direct the Social Cognition Lab at Massey, and my research interests lie in investigating the social, cognitive, and physical underpinnings of human sociality. I am particularly interested in how humans use emotional expressions to make sense of–and influence–their social worlds. I also conduct experimental social cognition research in the areas of social pain and feelings of control. More recently I have begun collaborations with public health researchers examining the psychological predictors of life satisfaction and the effects of alcholic drinking on wellbeing.
I grew up in rural Iowa before becoming a serial urbanite in early adulthood. I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida in 1999 and a Masters Degree in Communication at the University of Maryland in 2002, where I studied humour, persuasion, and attitude change in the Department of Communication.
My studies in communication sparked an interest in human and animal social behaviours. Consequently, I decided to continue my graduate education in psychology. I received a Masters Degree in Psychology at the University of Northern Iowa in 2005.
By way of a more lengthly story (and an adventurous supervisor), I received a PhD in psychology from the University of Queensland in 2012. I have been a lecturer in the School of Psychology at Massey University since 2013.