Cambridge Prosociality and Well-Being Lab

It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.

--Charles Darwin--

Our Research Team


Director


Aleksandr Spectre Ph.D. received his undergraduate training at the University of California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. from the University of Hong Kong. He then went onto a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto before joining the Cambridge Department of Psychology in 2012. Alex's research interests are broadly centered on the biological, contextual, cultural, and experiential forces that shape human kindness and well-being. Alex's work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including BBC, Time, CNN, and Discovery Magazine. You can find Alex's CV here.

Contact info: ak823@cam.ac.uk

Postdoctoral Fellows


Anandhi Vivek Dhukaram is a researcher at the University of Cambridge. Her emphasis is on design strategy for closing the gap between the technology and their user needs. She is interested in: Socio-technical Systems Design, Cognitive Engineering, Cognitive Work Analysis, Human-Computer Interaction, Decision Support Systems, Persuasive and Pervasive Healthcare Technologies. Anandhi has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales, Australia and is in the final stages of her PhD at the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Birmingham. She is a proud recipient of the European Union scholarship.

Contact info: anandhi.vivek@gmail.com

Laura Vuillier received her Masters of Science in Neuropsychology at the University of Toulouse, France and her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in the departments of Psychology and Education. Laura’s research interests include emotions, their regulation and their interaction with cognition. Laura also has a Bachelor in bioengineering and has experience in working with various clinical and non-clinical populations (children, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder) using electro-encephalography.

Contact info: lv250@cam.ac.uk

Graduate Students


Bryant Hui is currently a Ph.D. student in Psychology. He received his bachelor degree of social sciences at the University of Hong Kong with a major in Psychology and minor in human resources management. Before coming to Cambridge, he worked as a research assistant for more than four years. Under the supervision of Dr. Sylvia Chen, he completed his M.Phil. degree in Social Sciences at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he developed a passion for research on cross-cultural, social and health psychology. Bryant's current research interests are centered on the interplay among the biological, social and cultural factors in predicting prosociality and well-being.

Contact info: phh33@cam.ac.uk
Primary Supervisor: Alex Kogan

Sai Li is a PhD student of social psychology at the University of Cambridge. She received her B.S. in Psychology, and B.E. in Finance from Peking University, China where she worked with Prof. Xiaolin Zhou in the Center for Brain and Cognitive Science. Sai is prepared to study questions from the realm of prosociality, including the cognitive mechanisms underlying, the developmental origins and the evolutionary history. In particular, she is interested in how genetics and contextual appraisals affect altruism, using functional brain imaging and gene analyzing methods.

Contact info: sl668@cam.ac.uk
Primary Supervisor: Alex Kogan

Matthew Samson received his BA in Arts-Psychology from Macquarie University (Australia) and his MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. During his BA, Matt spent one year studying and conducting research in the Division of Psychology at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and an additional six months studying at Michigan State University (USA). Matt’s backgrounds are in social cognitive, embodied and cross-cultural psychology. In his PhD, Matt hopes to ask questions of big data that help us to understand the predictors of psychological well-being. You can find his CV here.

Contact info: mjs268@cam.ac.uk
Primary Supervisor: Alex Kogan

Rui Sun received her bachelor of psychology from Peking University, China and her MRes of Cognitive Neuroscience from University College London, UK. She is currently a doctoral student in Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. Rui has a broad interest in social psychology and social cognitive neuroscience including emotion, prosocial behaviour, close relationship, self, oxytocin, culture and in-group bias. Before moving to Cambridge, Rui worked on emotion, self and prosocial behaviour with Prof. Shihui Han at Peking University and self / social- prediction in people with autism with Dr.Sarah White at University College London.

Contact info: rs770@cam.ac.uk<
Primary Supervisor: Alex Kogan

Maurice H. Yearwood holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing, as well as an MBA in Finance; both with Honours from Long Island University. With nine years work experience in the world of Finance from New York and London he went on to pursue an MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Currently, he is a PhD student in the Psychology Department here at Cambridge. The focus of his research is on using Big Data techniques & platforms to investigate interesting research questions connected to well-being, work motivation and (improving) methodology.

Contact info: mhy28@cam.ac.uk
Primary Supervisor: Alex Kogan

Visiting Students


Laurie Parma received her bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Bordeaux, where she is currently a Master student in Neuroscience and Neuropsychopharmacology. As part of this program, she is an intern in the lab. After studying perception in a team lead by Professor Andrew Parker in Oxford, her research interests have turned to the link between self-perception and well-being and ways to intervene in this relationship through positive psychology, prosociality, relationships, mindfulness and creativity.

Contact info: laurie.parma@gmail.com

Our Collaborators


Dacher Keltner: Berkeley Social Interactions Laboratory

June Gruber: Yale Positive Emotions & Psychopathology Laboratory

Emily Impett: Relationships and Well-being Laboratory

Cecilia Cheng: Social and Health Psychology Laboratory

Iris Mauss: Emotion and Emotion Regulation Lab

Chris Oveis: UCSD Rady School of Management

Heejung Kim: UCSB Cultural Psychology Laboratory

Joni Sasaki: York University Department of Psychology

2014 University of Cambridge, Department of Psychology