I teach psychology at the University of Washington.
I’m interested in happiness — what makes people happy, how we can reach our best selves, and why we often fall short of this goal. I’m interested in what happens when people come together in collaboration, and when and why they (often unintentionally) isolate themselves. I’m interested in what happens when people are immersed in their present experience, and when and why they ‘go through the motions’ without thinking. I’m interested in how these different states impact emotion, social perception, and behavior — including student learning. I’m interested in best practices in teaching, and am always striving to improve as a teacher.
My philosophy of teaching and learning is centered on two principles: interaction and enthusiasm. In my classes, I seek to spark curiosity and interest among students and to engage them actively in exploring big questions and drawing connections among ideas. Learning occurs best when students are able to collaborate with one another and the instructor, and I am constantly seeking to discover more effective ways of doing this in large and small classes alike.
Among my top priorities is helping students develop their critical thinking skills to become better consumers of psychological information in everyday life.