My newest Post for Psychology Today
It feels good to control what will terrify you
Where I discuss all things morbid curiosity
I’m currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development at The University of Chicago and a Fellow at the Institute for Mind and Biology in the Behavioral Biology Lab. Broadly, I am interested in the social, cognitive, and biological factors that influence social behavior. Most of my current research centers around how people perceive and react to potentially dangerous (either socially or physically) individuals and situations. In partcular, I am interested in how and why people sometimes find enjoyment - and can perhaps learn something - from fictionally dangerous scenarios. From this perspective, I’ve recently been conducting foundational research on the phenomenon of morbid curiosity.
The basic question driving much of my research is: Why are people interested in or curious about violence and horror and what do people get from engaging in recreational fear? I use a variety of methods to answer these questions, including hormone analysis, behavioral analysis, eye tracking, surveys, and interviews. My research on morbid curiosity and the psychology of horror has also been covered by a variety of news and media outlets, including New Scientist, National Geographic, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, The New York Times, Forbes, Nautilus, Vice, and Psycom.
I also write about the psychology of morbid curiosity, horror, and all things spooky at Morbid Minds, my Psychology Today Blog.
PhD in Comparative Human Development - Behavioral Biology, 2022 (expected)
The University of Chicago
MS in Forensic Science - Biology/Chemistry with honors, 2016
The University of Central Oklahoma
BA in Anthropology with honors, 2014