Current Members

Lab Manager

Kiarah O’Kane

Kiarah recently graduated from UBC with her B.A. majoring in Psychology. She intends to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology, and her research interests include the relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorder and trauma, and how research on social connection can inform clinical practices. Kiarah’s current projects include examining people’s expectations about talking to strangers, and evaluating the benefits of different virtual communication methods. For inquiries about the lab, contact Kiarah at

Graduate Students

Ryan Dwyer Lab Website Photo
Ryan Dwyer

Ryan is a PhD student in Social Psychology at UBC. His broad interests are in judgment & decision making and well-being. Specifically, he is interested in how people decide to spend their time and money to improve their lives and the lives of others. His current projects explore the relationship between happiness and meaning, the impact of technology on our social lives, and the effect of volunteering on well-being.

Iris Lok

Iris is a doctoral candidate in Social Psychology at UBC. She is interested in how people can make the most out of their social interactions. Her current projects look at how we can get strangers to connect with each other. More broadly, she is interested in using psychological research to make people happier and more socially connected.

Dunigan Folk

I’m broadly interested in how different aspects of the human experience contribute to living “the good life”. More specifically, I am interested in the influence our relationships, technology, and unpleasant states like boredom have on our happiness and the meaning we derive from our lives.

Honours Students

Stephanie Yu

Stephanie is a 3rd year B.A. Psychology Honours undergraduate at UBC. Stephanie is broadly interested in how social-cognitive processes develop in a cultural context, especially when explored in relation to well being outcomes. Her current project investigates the efficacy of commonly overlooked social connection resources, for ameliorating loneliness. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Social/Developmental Psychology following graduation.

Directed Studies Students

Esther Choi

Esther is a recent UBC Psychology graduate. She hopes to pursue Clinical Psychology in graduate school! Her research interests are centered around anxiety and depressive symptomatology, with a specific focus on the adolescent population. She is also interested in examining the relationship between social cognition and emotion regulation. Her current DS project is looking at improving communication through verbal and non-verbal cues.

Senior Research Assistants

Aaron Zhuo
Brian Qi