Personality & Well-Being Laboratory
Current PWB Lab Members
Anika Javaid is a second-year graduate student in the Social, Personality, and Affective Sciences M.A. Program. She graduated from Chapman University in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology. Her research interests include positive interventions, discrimination, empathy, and well-being.
Nabila Anguiano is a second-year graduate student in the Mind, Brain, and Behavior M.A program. She is continuing her studies at San Francisco State University after receiving her B.A in Psychology in 2018.
Dawn M. Lucier is a second-year graduate student in the Social, Personality, and Affect Science M.A. program. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her general research interest area is Positive Psychology. More specifically, her current interests include affective forecasting, experientialism, hedonic adaptation, and happiness in general. Her thesis research project is examining the impact of money origin on happiness across the consumption timeline and individual’s values as a potential moderator. For more about Dawn, visit her website here.
Lindsey Alas Gonzalez
Lindsey Alas Gonzalez is a second-year graduate student in the Mind, Brain and Behavior M.A. program. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology in 2017. Her current interests include mindfulness, impulsivity, and subjective well-being.
Kuba Gwozdz is a second-year graduate student in the social personality and affective sciences M.A program. He is continuing his studies here at San Francisco State University after having earned a B.A in Psychology in 2017.
David Obando is a second-year graduate student in Social, Personality, and Affective Sciences M.A. program. He continues his studies here at San Francisco State University after completing his B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. David became interested in psychological research after working with several professors whose focus is consumer behavior, marketing analytics, and brand strategy.
From Our Personality & Well-Being Lab
Andrew graduated in Spring of 2020, after completing his thesis research on Organizational Commitment. During his final year, he managed the PWB lab which was the largest psychology lab within SFSU's College of Science and Engineering. Since graduating, Andrew has started his own employee surveying solutions firm, https://new-wave-solutions.com/.
Mirae Bouyssou is a graduate of the Social, Personality, and Affective Science M.A. concentration. She graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2007, graduating magna cum laude. She has taken numerous psychology classes at San Francisco State University and was a member of the Personality and Well-Being lab and the Cognitive and Social Equity Lab.
Alyssa Hegenbart is a graduate of the Social, Personality, and Affective Sciences Psychology program. She graduated from the University of California, Davis, in the Spring of 2017 with a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Ryan Mette is a graduate of the Social Personality and Affective Sciences (SPA) M.A. program. His research interests include working on how purchasing affects happiness. Particularly, how one's hedonism adapts to a type of purchase.
Matthew Bernas is a post-baccalaureate researcher in Dr. Ryan Howell’s Personality and Well-Being Lab at San Francisco State University, where he first joined the lab in the Spring of 2017. Driven by an interest in both positive and clinical psychology, he manages the Purchasing Behavior and Happiness study while working on his own honors thesis, The Quest to Assign the Right Amount of Happiness Homework. Having volunteered for the Crisis Text Line and getting mental health first aid certified, he hopes to get more clinical experience in a queer-space/support underfunded communities during his gap year before applying for graduate programs. In the future, he hopes to work as a therapist who teaches part-time.
Ishaa is an international graduate of the Mind, Brain, Behavior M.A program. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Francisco State University in 2017. Ishaa’s research interests are in personality traits, emotion regualtion, and happiness. Specifically, she is investigating how extraverts are happier than introverts. She is also interested in understanding consumer behavior and expereintialism. Ishaa worked as an undergraduate RA in the PWB lab, and is passionate about teaching, statistics, and statistics related memes! Aside from research, she enjoys traveling, cooking and other experiential consumptions!
Paige Guge graduated in 2019 from the PWB lab with her M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Social, Personality, and Affective Sciences. She also served as the PWB lab manager for the 2018/2019 academic year. For her thesis she ran an 8-week field study at SFSU which tested how the labeling of the SF sugary beverage tax impacted purchasing of sugary beverages.
Remy Cockerill earned her Bachelors degree in psychology from California State University of Long Beach. Throughout her undergraduate career, she worked with low-income children and their mothers studying wellness interventions such as; stress management, mindfulness, and exercise. She also volunteered with underprivileged female youth in the Anaheim school district teaching a peer-pressure and body positivity after-school elective. Finally, she, along with 5 others, started a non-profit organization called Mas Fuerte aimed at mitigating adverse effects of environmental and institutional racism/classism within Orange County- a nonprofit still active today. As a graduate student at SF State, she studied behavioral manifestations of happiness and well-being. Remy plans to continue researching wellness interventions at the graduate level - specifically in underserved populations and within family dynamics.
Ngoc-Han Nguyen graduated with her M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior in 2017. Ngoc-Han's thesis focused on different mediators of the experiential advantage, including identity, relatedness, and hedonic adaptation.
Ngoc-Han currently works as an Educational Research Analyst for the Santa Ana Unified School District. There, she utilizes her analytic, survey design, and program evaluation skills on the Research and Evaluation team to ultimately improve the institution of education for ethnic minorities and low income families. The mission of the team is to empower educators by transforming the use of data to accelerate student success towards college and career readiness.
Karynna Okabe-Miyamoto graduated in 2018 from the PWB Lab with her M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior. She was also the lab coordinator for the 2017/2018 academic year. Her thesis tested the robustness of the experiential advantage by utilizing a multi-method assessment of the outcome of happiness.
Karynna is currently a Ph.D. student in Psychology working with Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California, Riverside. She is also interning at Zenzi, a values marketing agency.
Caitlin Collins graduated in 2017 with a M.A. in Developmental Psychology. She is interested in happiness, and spending behavior. Her thesis examined how materialist spenders, as compared to their experiential counterparts, are perceived by others. The study found materialistic spenders were imbued with negative personality traits which influenced their perceived value as an employee.
Danrae Sabbaluca, or Drae, is a casual pro-gamer who completed his B.A. in Psychology, in Research. Under Dr. Howell’s supervision, he successfully defended his Honor’s Thesis: Improving Positive Activity Interventions Using Video Game Elements.
Currently, Drae is a market-research intern at Zenzi, a values-based marketing company.
JiaWei Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at The University of Memphis. His research focuses on emotions – especially the psychosocial ramification of awe and gratitude, emotion regulation strategy (e.g., self-compassion) upon coping with difficult life events (e.g., breakup, regrets, imperfections), money, time perspective, and aging, nature and prosocial behaviors, social hierarchy (status, class, power), as well as consumption (e.g., experiential purchases) and happiness. You can find out more about him and his research here.
Chris graduated from PWB lab and SFSU with a Master's in Mind, Brain, & Behavior in the Spring of 2017. His thesis took a novel approach to interpreting the longitudinal well-being impact of online happiness-boosting interventions, finding that these effects are mostly driven by a large-scale recovery from depression symptoms in highly-depressed people rather than a mild upward shift in well-being across participants. His other work involves lay theories of meaning in life and other positive psychology topics, the commodification of happiness research, and the micro-economic link between money and happiness.
After leaving PWB lab, Chris began working on his doctorate in Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia under the advisement of Laura King.
Pooya Razavi is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Oregon, working with Dr. Sanjay Srivastava. While working on his M.A. at SFSU, he was part of an international collaboration researching the cross-cultural similarities and differences in the experience of awe (see the resulting paper here). In his current research, Pooya studies emotions, culture, and social media using a multi-method approach.
M.A. | M.B.A.
Grant Donnelly received an MA in Psychological Research: Mind, Brain, and Behavior under the supervision of Dr. Ryan Howell in 2013. He attended Harvard Business School from 2013-2018 and received a Ph.D. in Marketing. Grant is an incoming Assistant Professor in Marketing and Logistics at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. Grant designs interventions to improve consumer welfare and his research has evaluated financial decision-making, physical health, and prosocial behavior.
Masha Ksendzova graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in 2015. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Marketing at Boston University, studying consumer judgment and decision-making.