research interests

Here are some current projects that I'm excited about.

Are events from books, movies, and TV shows part of our autobiography?

When we think of autobiographical memory, we think of events from our personal past. While this is certainly true, the memories of events that make up the autobiographical record also often include events that never happened (false memories), memories of things that happened to others (vicarious memories), and even events from which one has withdrawn belief (non-believed memories). I argue that events from works of fiction can also be meaningfully considered part of the autobiographical record: they exert influences in our lives, can perform many classically "autobiographical" functions, and exhibit phenomenological properties, such as a sense of reliving.

How do graphs mislead?

Visualizations are powerful. And increasingly, visualizations of data (i.e. graphs) are prevalent aspects of popular media. In a series of experiments, we show that y-axis truncation reliably affect judgments of relative quantity in bar graphs. We are currently exploring mechanisms, interventions, and paradigms with more applied stimuli. We continue to explore the ways that graphs contribute to misinformation.

Can we measure intelligent mindsets differently?

Whether people think of intelligence as fixed or malleable is incredibly predictive of success in academia and other domains. This idea is one of psychology's greatest "translational" triumphs: educators and policy-makers are more likely than not to have heard of growth mindsets. However, the popularity of these ideas combined with the face-valid nature of existing theory of intelligence measures might make accurate measurement of intelligence mindsets more difficult. I am currently collaborating with Christina Bejjani and Dr. Bridgette Martin Hard to explore ways of measuring such mindsets using open-ended writing responses.