|University||University of Alberta|
Previously, I held a Lecturer position (equivalent to Assistant Professor) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Canterbury (2015-2017). I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bern and the University of Basel in the Social Neuroscience lab of Dr. Daria Knoch (2012-2015). I received my PhD in 2012 in Social Psychology and a Neuroscience graduate diploma at York University under the supervision of Dr. Ian McGregor. I received my BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 2006. My research is grounded in the neuropsychology of motivation and goal-regulation. People feel distress when two goals or impulses come into conflict. Distress promotes disengagement from the conflicted goal and subsides when a viable goal is pursued or the conflict is actively resolved. Goals focused on moving towards positive outcomes (i.e., approach-motivated goals) are particularly effective at regulating distress. Approach-motivated goals initiate a kind of ‘tunnel-vision’ or focus that increases the salience of rewarding stimuli and decreases the salience of irrelevant, potentially obstructive stimuli. Conflict may also be resolved through self-control—the process in which thoughts, emotions, or impulses are inhibited to pursue a more focal goal.