As an experimental psychologist, my research seeks to understand the immense power and the surprising limitations of our minds in adaptively responding to new information given a lifetime of learning. I examine learning in the context of basic social processes. Specifically, I study the ordinary decisions we make every day that are critical to our well-being and even survival: our evaluations of and beliefs about other people. In doing so, I rely on a combination of traditional online and laboratory experiments as well as computational approaches, while drawing on a variety of learning paradigms, including reinforcement learning, evaluative conditioning, propositional learning, and causal learning. These methods help me uncover the basic mechanisms involved in how we acquire and update our impressions of individuals, especially against the backdrop of information about their social group memberships, such as gender, sexual orientation, age, race, and ethnicity.
I am currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. I obtained my PhD in 2019 at the Harvard Psychology Department under the mentorship of Mahzarin Banaji, Fiery Cushman, and Sam Gershman and completed my postdoctoral training at the Cornell Department of Psychology and the Yale Department of Psychology with Melissa Ferguson and, at Cornell, with Amy Krosch. My research has been funded by the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship, the Harvard Graduate School Fund, the Harvard Mind, Brain, and Behavior Initiative, the Stimson, Restricted, and Knox Funds at the Harvard Psychology Department, and the Cornell Center for Social Sciences. My work has been published in American Psychologist, Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nature Reviews Psychology, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and numerous other outlets.
I am a member of Project Implicit’s Scientific Advisory Board and the editorial boards of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, Social Cognition, and Social Psychological and Personality Science. I am also currently serving as an Editorial Fellow at the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. I have extensive teaching experience in social cognition, statistics, and social psychology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science and received the SAGE Early-Career Trajectory Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the International Social Cognition Network’s Early Career Award. Additionally, I am a three-time recipient of the Derek Bok Center’s Harvard Distinction in Teaching Award and was included on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students at the University of Illinois.