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People

Principal Investigator

Dr. Igor Grossmann

Igor picture

Igor Grossmann is a world traveler: Born in the Soviet Union, he lived in Ukraine, Germany, and the US. After a PhD at the University of Michigan, he joined a faculty at the University of Waterloo, Canada.

His main research goals concern (1) the scientific concept of wisdom, including lay beliefs, cultural differences, and processes that enable individuals to think and act "wisely," for instance by using strategies that facilitate the resolution of social conflicts, by engaging in unbiased judgment in evaluation of critical life
decisions or by adaptively regulating emotions that undermine their
goals and compromise their health. (2) The intersection of culture and
the mind, including the study of psychological consequences of
cultural change, especially in light of socioeconomic fluctuations
and political events.

Grossmann’s work was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology, Psychological Science, and PNAS. His research has been recognized through a Dissertation Award from the American Psychological Association (Division 20), the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Rising Star designation from the Association for Psychological Science. He is an Associate Editor for Emotion and Frontiers in Psychology, as well as on the editorial board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Email: igrossma@uwaterloo.ca

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Graduate Students

Alex Huynh

AlexAlex is a fifth-year graduate student in the Social Psychology program at the University of Waterloo. In 2011, he obtained his B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego. His current research interests involve exploring the effects of social class and culture on feelings of control and prosociality. He is also interested in exploring the consequences of the cultural mismatch during intercultural interactions that influence expectations and outcomes in competitive and cooperative situations.  In working with Igor, he is currently investigating the experience of emotional complexity across cultures and is interested in pursuing research on prospection and temporal focus, as well as the impact of inequality and social hierarchies across cultures.

Email: a7huynh@uwaterloo.ca

Hansky Santos

Hansky

Hansky is a fourth-year graduate student in the Social Psychology program at the University of Waterloo. Originally from the Philippines, he studied at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he received a B.A. in Psychology in 2012. He is interested in cultural change, wise reasoning, forecasting emotions, and complex emotions. With Igor, he is currently working on projects examining the factors that contribute to country-level shifts in individualism in a wide range of societies over the past few decades. He is also investigating how irony and incongruity influence wise reasoning. In addition, he is studying psychological processes that help people make wiser and more accurate predictions about their emotions and behaviours in future social dilemmas. 

Email: hcsantos@uwaterloo.ca

Harrison Oakes

HarrisonHarrison is a third-year student in the Social Psychology program at the University of Waterloo.  He obtained his B.A. (Hon) in Psychology from the University of Winnipeg in 2013.  His current research interests encompass themes of social justice, intergroup relations, prejudice, and discrimination.  More specifically, he is interested in masculinity threat and homophobia, and the manifestations of internalized homophobia within LGBTQ communities.  His current work with Igor examines the impact of social status on wise reasoning while his future work will investigate potential interventions to improve people’s ability to reason wisely.

Email: hoakes@uwaterloo.ca

Jeff Hughes

JeffJeff is in his final year of the social psychology graduate program at the University of Waterloo. His BA in Honours Psychology is also from the University of Waterloo. His research lies at the intersection of motivation and self-regulation, group dynamics, and decision-making. This research is done in collaboration with others such as Abigail Scholer, Richard Eibach, Daniel Nadolny, and Kassandra Cortes. His current research with Igor investigates the role of emphasizing religious beliefs or practices on religious believers' attitudes toward outside groups.

Email: j4hughes@uwaterloo.ca

Justin Brienza

Justin studied at theJustin Brienza University of Toronto, where he received his H.BSc in cognitive science and psychology. He received his Master's in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Waterloo. His work with Igor is focused on wisdom in conflict and wise leadership. He is currently pursuing research on a variety of other topics within management and organizational psychology. Some of these include individual and collective morality, mindfulness, deviance within organizations/ business, justice and fairness, conformity, and age. Justin is also investigating stakeholders' attitudes and reactions to corporations' anti-environmental and anti-social behavior, with a view to improving corporate ethics.

Email: jbrienza@uwaterloo.ca

Franki Kung

FrankiFranki completed his BA in Psychology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his Master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Waterloo. He is currently enrolled in the social and industrial/organizational psychology PhD special program. He studies cultural processes, intergroup relations and conflict resolution. His research with Igor involves examining how and when cultural collision and synergy happen in interclass interactions. Also, in collaboration with Richard Eibach, Igor and Franki are examining the dynamic functions of essentialism on self-concept, psychological continuity, social judgment and decision-making across cultures.

Email: franki.kung@uwaterloo.ca

Alumni

Old Wac LabCrystal Tse

Crystal TseCrystal received her PhD in social psychology at the University of Waterloo. Her primary research interest is in applying social psychological theory to inform evidence-based interventions that increase the performance and representation of women and minorities in the fields where they are negatively stereotyped.  Her research with Igor involves ways to increase understanding, compromise, and wise reasoning between groups with different moral intuitions and values (i.e., Liberals and Conservatives). She currently works at the Centre for Teaching Excellence where she provides support to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and internal program evaluation work.

Email: ctse@uwaterloo.ca

Becky Zhao

BeckyZhaoBecky received her Honours Psychology degree at the University of Waterloo. She has worked with the lab for over 1.5 years as a lab manager and a research assistant. Her main duties included conducting literature review and synthesis, monitoring and administering research studies, proofreading surveys and research publications as well as doing preliminary data analysis. 

Email: beckyzhaox@gmail.com