Meet the Fellows

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Riana Anderson (LIFE Fellow since 2011)
I am a third-year doctoral student in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Virginia. I graduated from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in 2006 with degrees in Psychology and Political Science, and went on to teach for 2 years in Atlanta, Georgia through Teach For America. I then conducted Community Based Participatory Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and neuropsychological research at Children's National Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, DC, respectively. I am currently investigating the longitudinal outcomes of a preventative intervention designed for low-income families with Dr. Melvin Wilson in the Cultural and Family Studies Lab. My master's thesis investigated the contextual factors that impact parenting behaviors, including ethnicity, residential location, and family size. I plan on analyzing the protective and promotive abilities of those demographic factors on child outcome over time in future studies. Additionally, I am investigating the protective mechanisms of ethnic identification in the face of perceived discrimination with African American adolescents and parents.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
321 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Christopher Beam (LIFE Fellow since 2010)
I received a BA in philosophy and in psychology from Seattle Pacific University in 2002 and an MA in psychology from New York University in August 2008. My thesis topic was "The Longitudinal Relation Between Marital Happiness and Positive Affect: A Trait-State-Error Approach." Immediately following completion of my Master's thesis, I began my studies at the University of Virginia with Bob Emery and Eric Turkheimer. Using genetically informed research designs, I study the effects of interpersonal relationships on adult psychopathology and the development of cognitive ability over the lifespan. My current work investigates the effect of marital quality on depressive symptomatology and how active and evocative gene-environment correlations translate into long-term environmental effects on cognitive development.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
300B Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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David Dobolyi (LIFE Fellow since 2011)
I am a cognitive psychologist in Dr. Chad Dodson's lab. My research is currently focused on eyewitness lineup fairness, although I also am involved with research on memory, multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) of fMRI data, and cognitive aging. I am fluent in English and Hungarian and have lived abroad in both Europe and most recently New Zealand.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Geneva T. Dodson (LIFE Fellow since 2012)
I received a B.A. in psychology from LaSalle University in 2006 and spent two years working in pharmaceutical project management. I am currently a fourth-year doctoral student in Quantitative Psychology at UVa, where I work with Steve Boker on idiographic methods of modeling development. Typical statistical modeling techniques restrict researchers to the use of one-size-fits-all models, in order to be able to generalize to the relevant population. Unfortunately, in such models we have difficulty accounting for individual variation in the underlying system. By applying an idiographic method such as higher-order invariance, we are able to establish models that incorporate individual differences within a group-specific model framework. It is from this framework that we are able to generalize across people. I am interested in the degree to which the course of cognitive aging is identical across diverse groups, and the degree to which it is not. My current work involves the use of idiographic methods in data with missingness as well as construct validity across age-dependent measures of theoretically identical latent constructs.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Laura M. Getz (LIFE Fellow since 2012)
I am a third-year doctoral student in Cognitive Psychology at U.Va interested in auditory perception (especially music perception) and cross-modal interactions. I graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2009 with degrees in Psychology and Music. I then spent the next year working at Goldsmiths College, University of London with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on studies relating to personality correlates of music preferences and motives for listening to music. I began my graduate studies at the University of Virginia in 2010 under the direction of my advisor, Michael Kubovy. I recently completed my master's thesis, which aimed to address some of the perceptual underpinnings of rhythmic and musical knowledge using Latin salsa music as the stimuli. After taking a cognitive development course, I decided to extend my research to young children, and am now working with Rachel Keen on projects relating to rhythm development in children as well. In addition to this more applied work, I am beginning a line of research to investigate cross-modal interactions between audition and vision from a developmental perspective, which I hope will develop into my dissertation project.


University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Erin E. Horn (LIFE Fellow since 2012)
I received a B.A. (2006) and an M.A. (2012) in Psychology from the University of Virginia, and I am currently working toward my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  I am a behavior geneticist, primarily researching various aspects of what has become known as the marriage benefit:  Married people tend to be happier and healthier than their unmarried counterparts.  Working with Drs. Eric Turkheimer and Bob Emery, I examine the relationship between various aspects of marriage and a variety of mental and physical health outcomes while adjusting for self- and between-family selection effects.  My current work involves understanding how marital status impacts longitudinal trajectories (and deviations from those trajectories) of antisocial behavior from a genetically informed perspective.  I also have a secondary research focus rooted in psychoimmunology, in which I am using burst data to investigate the dynamic interplay between psychological factors and herpes symptom recurrence.


University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Nicole Lindner (LIFE Fellow since 2008)
I received my B.A. in Psychology from Rhodes College. With the mentorship of Chris Wetzel, I conducted research for my honors thesis on how awareness of White privilege and feelings of White guilt were related to racial prejudice and support for affirmative action. My interest in intergroup attitudes led me to the social psychology program at the University of Virginia, where I work with Brian Nosek in his Implicit Social Cognition Laboratory. In addition to work on religious and political ideology, I am particularly interested in understanding how age-group identity and age bias operate across the age span, identifying interventions that reduce age discrimination (the focus of my dissertation proposal), and understanding how age preferences and motivations to suppress prejudice vary cross-culturally.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

miao Felicity Miao (LIFE Fellow since 2006)
I am currently a Ph.D. student in Social Psychology at the University of Virginia, working with Dr. Shigehiro Oishi. I received a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University in 2004. My undergraduate honors and master's thesis (under the supervision of Dr. Jeanne Tsai) explored the underlying mechanisms responsible for cultural differences in affect valuation (ideal affect). Findings suggest that influence and adjustment goals are the sources of cultural differences in ideal affect. Prior to beginning my Ph.D. studies, I was the Lab Manager for Dr. Jeanne Tsai's Culture and Emotion Lab at Stanford University. During my two years there, I was in charge of a project funded by the National Institute on Aging, to examine how affect valuation develops across the lifespan and across cultures. I am currently interested in examining how culture shapes sources of well-being. Current projects include exploring how culture may influence friendship formation and retirement choices.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400
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Jesse Pappas (LIFE Fellow since 2008)
I am currently a doctoral student studying social psychology at the University of Virginia under the advisement of Dr. Gerald Clore. I did my undergraduate work at Virginia Tech and received an M.A. in Psychological Science from James Madison University, where I worked with Dr. Sheena Rogers. Broadly, my research program examines the structure and dynamics of the self-concept, both in the situated moment and across the lifespan. Active projects include (1) connecting the affect-as-information hypothesis to variability in self-oriented beliefs, (2) exploring the relationship between self-complexity and well-being from a “harmony in diversity” perspective, (3) investigating when and how individuals tune self-beliefs to match information provided by their physical environments, and (4) studying how the self-concept is actively self-regulated in daily life.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Jennifer Simpson (LIFE Fellow since 2010)
After receiving by B.A. from Northwestern University in 2008, I began my graduate studies at the University of Virginia in the Program for Anxiety, Cognition, and Treatment Lab. There, under the guidance of my adviser, Bethany Teachman, I research cognitive processing biases in anxiety, as well as the presentation of anxiety across the lifespan. I am particularly interested in understanding how self-perceptions of age (i.e., chronological, subjective, and implicit) may relate to one's experience of anxiety as one ages. Additionally, I am excited to be beginning a new line of studies using eye-tracking equipment in older and younger adults to measure changes in attention biases across the lifespan.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Eric D. Smith (LIFE Fellow since 2011)
I am a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at the University of Virginia. I received a B.S. in Psychology from Ursinus College in 2006 and spent two years as Dr. Frank C. Keil’s lab manager at Yale University before coming to Charlottesville. At UVA, I work primarily in the labs of Drs. Angeline S. Lillard and James P. Morris. In the broadest sense, my program of research grapples with how fictional mediums (i.e., pretense, narrative, film, and video games) impact children and adults. Recent work has explored undergraduates’ retrospective memories of engaging in pretense and the cortical mechanisms underlying the observation of pretense acts. My work is generously supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Jeffrey R. Spies (LIFE Fellow since 2008)
I am working towards my Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Virginia under the advice of Steven M. Boker. I received both a Master's degree in Quantitative Psychology and a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Notre Dame before coming to Virginia. I am currently interested in developing methods and tools for high-dimensional data visualization, structural equation modeling, and time-series/longitudinal data analysis, particularly to understand the dynamics of complex, nonstationary processes and systems. My substantive interests include the coordination of nonverbal behavior during communication, the mapping of facial movement to affect, and motor development across the lifespan, along with a general interest in the Autism Spectrum Disorders and how technology can be used to facilitate diagnosis and intervention for these disorders. More information on my work and how I can be contacted can be found at http://people.virginia.edu/~js6ew/.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
300B Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Thomas Talhelm (LIFE Fellow since 2010)
I am a social psychology PhD student at the University of Virginia, working with Shige Oishi, Jerry Clore, and Jon Haidt. I graduated from the University of Michigan after working in culture and cognition with the Kitayama lab and Nortbert Schwarz. I want to know how culture changes the way we think, where these differences come from, and where they are going. Where does culture come from? And how do they evolve? Much of my inspiration comes from the 2+ years I spent working, teaching, and writing across China. Right now, I'm looking at how moving around (which is very common where I am from) changes us. China is a great test case because it has gone from a hugely stable country to having one of the largest social migrations in human history.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

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Siny Tsang (LIFE Fellow since 2012)
I received a MA in Criminal Justice and Criminology prior coming to the University of Virginia, in which I examined whether individuals with different self-construals endorse varying degrees of psychopathy. Currently, I am a third-year graduate student working with Timo von Oertzen in the quantitative area. I am interested in further identifying and addressing sources that cause potential estimation issues (e.g., non-convergence, improper solutions) in different models. Outside the quantitative area, I work with Bobbie Spellman to examine how decision makers in the legal system evaluate and weight different expert testimony. In addition, my current work includes the investigation of the trajectory of criminality as individuals transition from adolescence into adulthood.

University of Virginia
Department of Psychology
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400

 

 

 

 

 



Maintained by: jlg6xv@virginia.edu
Last Modified: 15-Apr-2009 13:02:45 EDT
© 2009 by the LIFE Course of the University of Virginia