I received a BA in psychology and philosophy from Knox College in Illinois, an MA in social and personality psychology from York University in Toronto Canada, and a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from the University of Missouri. I also completed a graduate minor in psychological methods and statistics at Missouri. Throughout these studies, my primary interests were in the fields of personality and motivation.
My dissertation work was aimed at combining self-determination theory with basic research in personality, particularly with regard to how motivational aspects of personality (like values) impact how we experience daily situations and need fulfillment.
I will be working with the Rationality Enhancement Group on a scientific theory of life improvement. With that aim in mind, one large project I'll be supporting includes testing various strategies to encourage people to select beneficial values, i.e., ones that tend to be linked to personal and social well-being, and then designing digital interventions that apply these strategies.
In connection with this project, I will also be examining ways to facilitate the internalization of beneficial values beyond the initial value selection or reorientation that people might engage in during an intervention.
Values are long-term, high-level motivational guides that people can use to organize and energize their lives, from daily pursuits, to interpersonal relationships, to career goals, and so on. The content of people’s values is associated with the way they experience their day-to-day (Prentice, 2015) and crucial periods of life ...
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems