Assistant Professor of Psychology, School of Psychology and Counseling
- Research Methods
- Social Psychology
- Dark personality (e.g., narcissism, psychopathy)
- Antagonistic behaviors
- New approaches in personality measurement
- BA, Miami University
- MA, PhD, The University of Alabama
My research resides at the intersection of personality and social psychology. Specifically, I study how dark personality is differentially expressed in various social contexts, representing the duality of human behavior: “Good” vs. “Evil.” My research philosophy is built upon the principle of moral relativism – the perspective that what constitutes good vs. evil is relative to a given person or context. This principle can be applied to dark personality, such that no personality construct is absolutely evil. Instead, even seemingly malevolent behaviors can yield prosocial consequences in certain contexts or be driven by relatively benign psychological mechanisms. I am particularly interested in this important but severely understudied, notion.
I view research and teaching as synergistic entities. Just as mentoring students is crucial to my research, an appreciation and understanding of the scientific method are crucial to my teaching. Theories, principles, and concepts are taught through the lens of seminal research studies and evaluated in light of the current body of empirical evidence. Activities and assignments encourage students to critically examine research findings and connect them to broader psychological concepts. Experimental simulations and in-class surveys promote experiential learning and engage students by having them analyze their own data. I find that these methods are particularly effective at fostering students’ ability to think as “social scientists” through a stimulating, interactive learning environment.