S.U.M.A.C. Lab


The SUMAC (Self-regulation, Unconscious Motivation, Action Control) Lab is involved in research that spans many topics within social-cognitive and cognitive science. The thread that runs throughout all of the current research is to understand how people function nonconsciously (or unconsciously). In other words, I am interested in what people do when they are not aware of what they are doing. One of the main research lines in the lab involves vicarious goal satiation, which is a phenomenon where watching others do well on a task leads the observer to do worse on the task without being aware of it. Currently, we are investigating the mechanisms supporting this phenomenon.

Graduate Training
The SUMAC Lab is an experimental laboratory that aligns with the social-cognitive tradition. Research is grounded in different theoretical perspectives from neuroscience to political science. The lab uses a variety of experimental techniques, and is currently branching out into virtual reality via a collaboration with Dr. Sally Linkenauger. My aim for training is to provide students with the tools to become independent researchers in preparation for an academic career.

The Lab Experience
The SUMAC Lab is dedicated to providing a great lab experience for the undergraduate research assistants and the graduate students alike. In this lab, we all work together for the common goals of the lab: To do excellent research, to support theoretical understanding and development, to learn research design and experimental methods, and to facilitate practical skills for the researcher (e.g., programming, public speaking, grant writing). The lab holds weekly meetings and annual social events.





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What's new?

Reaching Your Goals... Vicariously- Psychology Today

Does watching others succeed make you feel like you succeeded?


Business-school Research: Second-hand satisfaction -The Economist

Seeing someone else achieve a goal may make you less likely to achieve your own.