C. Daryl Cameron, Ph.D. | Principal Investigator
Photo credit: Rob Peeler
Daryl Cameron is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and ethics core faculty member in the Rock Ethics Institute. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from the College of William and Mary. He completed a summer post-doctoral appointment at the Duke University Kenan Institute for Ethics, and was a Fellow at the Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). Daryl is a member of the Moral Psychology Research Group, an interdisciplinary group of psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers who study moral cognition. Before coming to Penn State, he was a faculty member at the University of Iowa.
Daryl’s research has been funded by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation. His work has been published in venues such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Review, and in popular outlets such as the New York Times. His research on moral judgments about implicit racial bias received the Morton Deutsch Award for Best Article from the International Society for Justice Research.
POST-DOCTORAL ASSOCIATE //
Daniel Lim, Ph.D. | Post-Doctoral Associate
Daniel is a post-doctoral scholar in the EMP lab. He received his B.A. in Psychology from SUNY at Buffalo under the tutelage of Michael Poulin as his honors thesis advisor. He eventually went on to complete his M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Northeastern University under the guidance of his advisor, David DeSteno. Daniel is interested in examining the social-environmental factors that alter our capacity for empathy and compassion. More specifically, he is interested in how experiences with adversity could accentuate or attenuate prosocial proclivities. He is also interested in social interventions that could help us exercise moral emotions (i.e. empathy, and compassion) broadly and effectively. Lastly, he is also interested in examining the effects of contemplative practices (i.e. mindfulness meditation) on social behavior. While studying these areas of research, Daniel often utilize confederate-based behavioral paradigms that have strong ecological validity as well as methods that yield longitudinal data (i.e. experience sampling, day reconstruction method.
GRADUATE STUDENTS //
Julian A. Scheffer, M.A. | Graduate Student
Julian is a 5th-year graduate student in the EMP Lab (and a 3rd-year here at Penn State). He is interested in the psychological rewards and costs of empathy, and he is currently exploring how the brain contributes to regulating empathic responding using electrophysiology and the lesion method. He is also interested in how people regulate moral behavior and moral judgment, focusing on propensities for prosocial versus antisocial behavior, as well as the policing of moral violations within and between social groups. Julian obtained his B.Sc. in Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Toronto, where he managed Michael Inzlicht’s Toronto Lab for Social Neuroscience and Elizabeth Page-Gould’s Embodied Social Cognition Lab. Julian also obtained his M.A. in Psychology at the University of Iowa, where he participated in the NIH-funded T32 training program and worked with Dr. Daniel Tranel and Dr. Jan Wessel.
Victoria Spring, M.A. | Graduate Student
Victoria is a 5th-year graduate student in the EMP Lab (and a 2nd-year here at Penn State). She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a degree in Psychology, and managed Dr. Cameron’s lab at the University of Iowa in 2013. Before that, she worked at Lisa Feldman Barrett’s Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory. Victoria is broadly interested in empathy, particularly how empathy and moral judgment constructed as the product of domain-general ingredients such as affect, learning, attention, and conceptualization. She is also interested in how intergroup dynamics influence one’s propensity to approach or avoid empathic experience. Victoria received her M.A. at the University of Iowa, and for the 2016-2017 academic year studied at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden as part of her National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
Stephen Anderson, B.A. | Graduate Student
Stephen is a 1st-year graduate student in the EMP lab. He graduated from Allegheny College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Music, where he completed a senior thesis examining the influence of musically-induced empathy on visually-induced empathy. Before coming to Penn State, he worked as a Lab Manager for Kurt Gray’s Mind Perception and Morality Lab at the University of North Carolina, and was also a Research Assistant for Christopher Chabris’ and Michelle Meyer’s behavioral science lab at Geisinger Health System. Stephen is interested in the intersection of morality and mental simulation, particularly in regards to empathy.
Eliana Hadjiandreou, B.A. | Graduate Student
Eliana is a 1st-year graduate student in the EMP Lab. Before entering graduate school, she was lab manager for the EMP Lab from 2016-2018. Eliana graduated from Clark University with a Psychology major and a Cultural Studies and Communication minor. In the summer of 2015, she was an APA Summer Science Fellow at George Mason University, working with Dr. June Tangney on examining the values of incarcerated offenders. She recently completed an honors thesis on the relationship between altruistic tendencies and different forms of a life purpose, and she is also a collaborator on a project regarding victim consciousness in contexts with political conflict. Eliana is broadly interested in the emotional and cognitive motivations and decision-making surrounding empathy, altruism, and prosocial behavior, as well as in the evolutionary psychology of self-interest and human cooperation.
GRADUATE AFFILIATES //
Sinhae is a fifth year graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Penn State University. She is interested in understanding the process of emotional experience and how one can modify this process. Her work focuses on how facilitate the process of emotional recovery after being exposed to emotionally evocative events by using various emotion regulation strategies and different types of psychological intervention. In addition, Sinhae is interested in understanding the role of negative and positive emotions and their interaction in promoting prosocial behaviors. Sinhae obtained her M.A. in clinical psychology from Yonsei University, Korea and her B.A. in psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Nathan graduated from Texas Tech University in 2010 with a dual degree in Psychology and Biology. Before beginning his graduate school program at Penn State in 2012, he was a science teacher in Rangsit, Thailand. Currently, he studies engagement with climate change and social psychological factors that lead individuals to take action versus remain disengaged on the topic. His work on the link between pluralistic ignorance plays in silencing discussion on climate change is published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and has been featured in popular outlets including the Washington Post and the Centre Daily-Times. You can find Nathan’s personal website here.
Danfei is broadly interested in the cognitive and motivational components of emotional processing and emotion regulation. Current projects explore 1) how people control their emotions when bad things happen, and 2) how individuals’ beliefs about emotion impact their motivation and behavior. Danfei obtained her MA in Cognitive Science and MS in Applied Statistics from Columbia University prior coming to Penn State.
Mike works with Dr. Janet Swim and Dr. Daryl Cameron. He is broadly interested in promoting more positive treatment of the environment. Specifically, Mike’s research focuses on how the ways in which we think about, focus on, and define the self impact the ways that we connect to and treat the environment. He is also interested in investigating these and related processes at both the explicit and implicit level, recognizing that the determinants of behavior are not always consciously accessible. Mike has an additional interest in understanding the factors that influence the experience of compassion for animals, and other natural entities, as well as moral judgments about their suffering.
Michael H. Pasek
Michael H. Pasek is a fifth-year graduate student in social psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, where he is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a University Graduate Fellow. His research focuses on the consequences of stigma and prejudice as they affect various social identities, including but not limited to race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. Additionally, Michael is interested in the development and implementation of psychological interventions designed to buffer individuals from the negative consequences of real or perceived prejudice and to foster a more equitable society. Michael received his M.S. in psychology (social) from The Pennsylvania State University in 2015 and graduated with honors from Bates College in 2012 with a B.A. in political psychology. You can find Michael’s personal website here.
Natalia Van Doren
Natalia’s research examines how, when, and why we regulate our emotions, and how social identity, self-concept, and cultural context influence this process. Natalia is also interested in the social functions of emotions, such as empathy and compassion, and how they shape moral judgment and prosocial behavior, as well as how they vary across different cultures. Natalia obtained her BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked with Bob Levenson, Dacher Keltner, and Oliver John. You can find her personal website here.
RESEARCH ASSISTANTS //
Taylor Buchness is a Junior majoring in Psychology. She is interested in Industrial Organizational psychology and how empathy impacts the workplace, as well as how it influences the social environment of today. Taylor plans to go to graduate school after completing her undergraduate program. Her hobbies include hiking, painting, and reading. Taylor also completed a McNair Summer Fellowship with Dr. Cameron in 2018, on the relationship between empathy and leadership.
Shenyun is currently double majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She is exploring her interests in the two fields and their relations. Empathy and morality are the topics which attract her. After graduation, she plans to go to either the graduate school, or law school.
Marco is a senior majoring in Psychology and Political Science at Penn State University. He is interested in the relationship between mindfulness and well-being through the lenses of positive psychology and contemplative science. After graduation, Marco hopes to attend graduate school. He also enjoys playing soccer and football in his free time.
Peter is a junior Biology major minoring in psychology. He is interested in neurology and wants to research more into the reasons behind human social interactions and how they could be changed to benefit the workplace. Peter also enjoys interacting with new people by giving tours as a Lion Scout and being involved in Greek life on campus. Post-graduation, he is potentially interested in attending graduate school to further research into these topics.
Jessica is a Senior double majoring in Psychology (life science option) and Criminology (law option) with a minor in Sociology. Following graduation, she hopes to go on to graduate school for Forensic Psychology. Jess is strongly interested in the aspect of analyzing decision making within criminal behavior.
Cassie is currently a Junior double majoring in Criminology and Psychology. She is interested in exploring why certain individuals commit violent crimes and to what degree their upbringing has to do with it. Cassie hopes to one day be able to study psychopathy in depth and discover what makes criminal psychopaths who they are and commit the actions that they do.
Hannah is currently a Junior, and is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She is interested in social psychology and child development. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school and become a counselor.
Matthew is currently a Junior majoring in Psychology. He is interested in Industrial Organizational psychology and studying workplace behavior. Specifically, Matthew is interested in how leadership emerges in facilitated workgroups.
Kayleigh White is a freshman Psychology major. She is interested in studying the criminal aspect of psychology, specifically in relation to their life circumstances and the role it plays on their behavior. Kayleigh hopes to attend medical school after graduation from Penn State to earn her medical degree in Psychiatry.
UNDERGRADUATE ALUMNI //
Yu Han (University of Vermont)
Xiaotian He (DePaul University)
Stephanie McKee (University of Kentucky)
Penn State News Interviews the EMP Lab, February 2017
SPSP 2017 (San Antonio), Lab Coffee Tour: