Research Projects

Horror and Mental Health

Can horror be good for you?

The Cognitive Architechture of Hatred

What is the function of hatred?

The Psychology of Morbid Curiosity

What is morbid curiosity?

Horror, Cognition, and Play

Why do we play with fear?

Gruesomeness and Perceived Formidability

What is the point of gruesome behavior?

The Allure of Violence

Why are we captivated by violence?

Academic and Professional Positions


UX Researcher, Mental Health Team


Jun 2021 – Aug 2021 San Francisco, California
User Experience Research Graduate Intern at Facebook.

Research Consultant

Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology

Feb 2021 – Jun 2021 Oxford University
Designed and analyzed studies on intuitions about rituals in response to threat.

Visiting Researcher

Interacting Minds Centre

Oct 2017 – Nov 2020 Aarhus University, Denmark
Designed and conducted field experiments at a haunted house attraction (Autumn 2017 and Autumn 2020).


Institute for Mind and Biology

Jul 2017 – Jun 2022 The University of Chicago
Behavioral Biology Laboratory

PhD Student

Department of Comparative Human Development

Oct 2016 – Jun 2022 The University of Chicago
Behavioral Biology concentration



Horror fans are coping better with the pandemic

Viewpoints with Todd van der Heyden

Morbid Curiosity

The Mad Scientist Podcast


Morbid Curiosity Scale

If you are a researcher, you can find the instructions for the Morbid Curiosity Scale by clicking here

If you would like to find out how morbidly curious you are, click here