Previously, I held a Lecturer position (equivalent to Assistant Professor) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury (2015-2017). I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bern and the University of Basel in the Social Neuroscience lab of Dr. Daria Knoch (2012-2015). I received my PhD in 2012 in Social Psychology and a Neuroscience graduate diploma at York University under the supervision of Dr. Ian McGregor. I received my BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 2006.
My research is grounded in the neuropsychology of motivation and goal-regulation. People feel distress when two goals or impulses come into conflict. Distress promotes disengagement from the conflicted goal and subsides when a viable goal is pursued or the conflict is actively resolved. Goals focused on moving towards positive outcomes (i.e., approach-motivated goals) are particularly effective at regulating distress. Approach-motivated goals initiate a kind of ‘tunnel-vision’ or focus that increases the salience of rewarding stimuli and decreases the salience of irrelevant, potentially obstructive stimuli. Conflict may also be resolved through self-control—the process in which thoughts, emotions, or impulses are inhibited to pursue a more focal goal.
From this perspective, I investigate the interface between basic neural, motivational, and affective mechanisms with personal convictions, social decision-making, and intergroup behaviors. I currently have four related lines of research. First, I examine individual differences in distress and conflict. Second, I examine social decision-making and self-control. Third, I examine individual differences in intergroup bias. Fourth, I examine the neuropsychology of threat and ideological convictions.
A survey of theories and research on the individual in a social context. Prerequisites: PSYCO 104 or SCI 100, and PSYCO 105 or equivalent. Note: PSYCO 241 and SOC 241 may not both be taken for credit. [Faculty of Arts]Fall Term 2021 Winter Term 2022
Discussion of advanced concepts and theories developed by selected fields within experimental psychology. The course will examine the relation between theory and data in these fields. Prerequisites: STAT 141 or 151 or 161 or SCI 151 and a 300-level PSYCO course. Students must check with the Department for the topics for the year and any additional prerequisites. [Faculty of Science]Winter Term 2022