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Director

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Dr. Sylvia Morelli is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Director of the Empathy and Social Connection Lab. She received her BA in Psychology from Princeton University and PhD from UCLA. Prior to joining UIC, Dr. Morelli worked in the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab and explored whether positive empathy (i.e., our ability to share and understand others’ positive emotions) promotes prosocial behavior, social connection, and well-being. She uses a combination of behavioral and neuroimaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging, laboratory experiments, daily experience sampling, and social network analyses. Overall, her research aims to broaden our understanding of empathy and demonstrate its critical role in promoting well-being and positive social relationships.    CV  |  E-mail 


GRADUATE STUDENTS

Mowafak Allaham received his BS in Computer Science in 2013 and his MA in Psychology from George Mason University in 2015 where he worked with Dr. Eva Wiese as a graduate research assistant at the Social Robotics Lab. Prior to joining the Empathy & Social Connection Lab as a PhD candidate, he worked with Dr. Bertram Malle and Dr. Joseph Austerweil at Brown University as a researcher to explore the cognitive representation of social norms. Currently, Mowafak is on a quest to understand the fabric of empathy. He hopes to develop a computational model to identify the core factors that contribute the most to our empathy for others. His additional research interests include social and moral norms, social cognition, and moral judgments.    CV  |  E-mail

 
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Ian Kwok is a PhD candidate in the Clinical Psychology program. His research centers around the ways in which positive emotion and empathy can enhance peoples’ lives. Ian's current line of research involves developing and testing mental health interventions for both clinical and at-risk populations. In particular, he’s interested in exploring how such resources can be disseminated through novel channels — whether it’s in-person or online. Ian's broader goal is to understand how we can live better lives by improving the way we relate to ourselves and others.    E-mail

 
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Tim Carsel is a PhD student working with Drs. Sylvia Morelli and Linda Skitka. His eclectic interests center on conflict and cooperation. Specifically, he is interested in the contingencies on the applications of moral norms, such as goal states and social perception. He believes that efficient and impactful research aims to understand basic scientific questions embedded in real-world problems and approaches each project with an eye toward understanding and application. Prior to UIC, he received his B.S. in Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and before that he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy.    WebsiteE-mail


Research AssistantS


Summer 2016

 
 

LAB Alumni

Staff, Students, & Postdocs: 
Rucha Makati
Josh Wondra
Frank Hu

Research Assistants: 
Samantha Rheins
Yaraly Andersen
Sophia Ou
Taelar Scott
Rachael Warren
Maria Jaramillo
Liz Deitemyer
Daniel Stopka
Humza Khan