Graduate Student Alumni

Ashley Whillans

Ashley Whillans is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Business School in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit. Broadly, Ashley’s research focuses on understanding how the daily and long-term decisions that people make about time and money (in their personal lives, their relationships, and at work) impact individual and societal well-being. Ashley is passionate about putting science ‘to work’ to solve real-world problems and she frequently conducts research with charities, companies as well as local and federal government. Ashley’s complete profile can be found here:

Aaron Weidman

Aaron is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Michigan. He studies the function, regulation, and measurement of emotion and related constructs, including happiness and well-being. In his recent work with the Happy Lab, Aaron has used machine learning techniques to predict happiness through acoustic analysis of people’s everyday speech. Aaron’s complete profile can be found here:

Alyssa Croft

Alyssa Croft is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the area of Social Psychology and the Director of the Social Roles and Identity Lab. Her research focuses on the influence of societal expectations and social groups on self-concept and the psychological barriers they can cause. Her full profile and a list of her recent, selected publications can be found here:

Konstantin Kushlev

I completed my PhD in Social Psychology, with a broad interest in the factors that promote psychological well-being. I have explored, for example, the factors that promote parental well-being and the emotions that can motivate positive self-change. My current work explores the psychological costs and benefits of omnipresent connectivity to the Internet. I am looking at when, how, and why people’s incessant interactions with devices, such as smartphones affect our ability to derive a sense of social relatedness from in-person social interactions. You can find a list of my current publications at:

Lara Aknin

Lara Aknin is an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University. Her research examines what makes people happy, what leads people to act generously, and — of particular interest — whether giving to others feels good. Her research has been published in academic journals, including Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Psychology-General, and Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, and has been covered by over 400 media outlets worldwide. When she’s not engrossed in research, she’s feeding her foodie desires, running along the sea wall, or walking her bulldog, Dexter. Feel free to check out her SFU website here:

Gillian Sandstrom

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of Essex, in the U.K. My research examines how seemingly insignificant social interactions and everyday behaviours can influence and improve well-being. I focus on three research questions:

  • What personal and cultural factors promote/inhibit social interactions?
  • When and how do social interactions lead to feelings of connection?
  • When and how do people benefit from feeling connected to others?

If I’m not at my desk, you’ll probably find me playing tennis, or practicing my cello. For more information about me and my research, look here:

Jordi Quoidbach

Jordi Quoidbach is an Associate Professor at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. His research explores the temporal determinants of choice and happiness. In particular, Jordi is interested in understanding how people’s memories of past experiences and anticipation of future experiences shape the decisions they make, the emotions they feel, and their overall happiness in the present. In other words, to take the simplest example, how are your choice and enjoyment of today’s activities affected by what you did yesterday and the plans you have for tomorrow? His work highlights novel perspectives to design optimal positive emotional experiences, to improve people’s satisfaction in the long run, and to help individuals making better decisions regarding their future happiness. For more information about Jordi and his research please see