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 Suit Full - October 30
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
AlyssaCroftAlyssa is a PhD Candidate in social psychology. Her research aims to answer broad questions concerning motivation, cognition and affect, specifically as they relate to stigma, stereotypes and prejudice. For more information about Alyssa and her research please see:
Kostadin Kushlev
Kostadin_ProfileI 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
laraLara 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
Gillian_ProfileDr. Gillian Sandstrom completed her Ph.D. in 2013. For her dissertation, she studied how relationships with acquaintances, or weak social ties, are associated with well-being.  Her work finds that people are happier on days when they interact with more weak ties than they usually do, and that minimal social interactions, like the ones with your usual barista, might provide a hidden source of happiness. She currently holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge, where she is collaborating with computer scientists to examine the behavioural correlates of emotion through use of a mobile phone application.
Jordi Quoidbach
Jordi Quoidbach is an Associate Professor at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. His research explores the temporal determinants of choice andhappiness. 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