Deborah Qu

I am interested in studying strategies to increase the efficacy of cognitive reappraisal, an emotion regulation strategy in which one alters thoughts about an event to modify one’s emotional response to that event. Cognitive reappraisal can be effective in down-regulating negative emotions in stressful, emotional situations. However, because cognitive reappraisal has been shown to deplete cognitive resources, implementing cognitive reappraisal can be difficult in emotional situations that are cognitively demanding. The project aims to study whether implementation intentions, a strategy known for its ability to automatize desired behaviors in goal achievement literature, can automatize cognitive reappraisal in the down-regulation of negative emotions. Over the summer, I plan to compare the emotional outcomes of cognitive reappraisal with cognitive reappraisal + implementation intentions in the presence of emotional stimuli to study whether implementation intentions will increase the automaticity of cognitive reappraisal, resulting in lower negative affect and less effortful regulation.

Davis Kedrosky

For two hundred years, the Hudson’s Bay Company exercised de facto colonial rule over most of central and western Canada. While many concessionary regions monopolizing extractive production have experienced negative developmental outcomes, Canada is one of the world’s most prosperous countries, and has a less negative record of native persecution. I seek to analyze whether this paradoxical result can be in part explained by the HBC’s competition with the French and several independent British firms during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which may have created “outside options” that increased indigenous bargaining power.

Silas Kirsch

Since their inception, the role and cultural significance of highways have aligned with contemporary issues of inequity and have been vectors of harm. I will analyze the history of the Bay Area’s highways and examine the inequity that shaped and was built into the public understanding of the highways, as well as the structures themselves. Three main eras I will focus on are: 1910–1940, when highways were novel and their place in culture was being constructed; 1941–1980, when they were used as a tool to reshape communities and the dynamics of urban-suburban relationships; and 1980–present, when the adverse consequences of living near highways has come to be more recognized, which increasingly informs attitudes toward them, particularly in the Bay Area. Using Geographic Information Systems tools, I will investigate the impacts freeways have on quality of life and compare those to the demographics most affected by highways today to understand current […]

Rinda Kawamoto

When you get rejected by a member of your group, you may feel as if other members are also excluding you. Such a misconception in social exclusion is documented as the Involuntary Excluder Effect (IEE). Although IEE is known to be robust in one-person exclusion, its scope and mechanism remain unknown. Given the consequences of exclusion on ones emotions and workplace productivity, it is crucial to understand how IEE plays out in real-life situations. How does having more included or excluded members affect the level of IEE? What mechanisms explain it? In this study, I will measure the robustness of the IEE by varying the number of included and excluded members and test its mechanism by measuring how ones role as an included or rejected person changes ones construal of the ambiguous exclusion. This robustness check should increase the external validity of this research, given it is common for one-person […]

Yike Gao

My research seeks to answer why different ethnic groups of Asian Americans adopt American first names at distinct rates; to what extent first names affect one’s identification with one’s ethnic origin; and how gender moderates the naming process. The project was motivated by personal observations: I found that my East Asian peers all have Americanized first names, while most of my South Asian peers have first names that signal their ethnic origin – a pattern I subsequently confirmed using the California Birth Index. The quantitative discovery intrigued me enough to engage in further qualitative research. Through in-depth interviews with first- and second-generation Asian Americans of Chinese or Indian descent, I seek to uncover the motivations and consequences behind different naming practices. Given previous literature’s findings on the adverse effects of racially identifiable names and name-changing as an assimilation strategy, it is particularly interesting how two groups of immigrants display distinct […]

Alondra Garcia

My work aims to investigate how the intersection between ethnicity and gender may influence teachers’ perceptions of disrespect. Previous research has found a perceived desire for increased discipline for Black boys in the classroom relative to white boys. However, the same results could not be replicated for girls. I believe that by creating a study that is informed by Latine girls’ intersecting identities, I will find similar results for perceived disrespect. I have created a survey containing a student’s misbehavior that presents the participant with either a stereotypical Latine girl name or a stereotypical White girl name. Thereafter, participants are given survey questions that address perceived disrespect and their feelings toward the student. Participants’ responses will demonstrate whether there is greater perceived disrespect in the Latine girl condition compared to the White girl condition. These results could suggest a need for further research on how differential perceptions may affect the […]

William Hastings

The characteristics of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and measures of emotionally-related impulsivity (ERI) offer strong diagnostic potential in the identification of internalized and externalized disorders (Nakamura et al., 2020; Johnson et al., 2013). Yet, nearly two dozen papers attempted to locate the neural correlates of ERI with no success (Johnson et al., 2020) until recently, with the discovery of a morphological link between the OFC and measures of ERI (Elliott et al., 2021). Of interest to the present project, separate and prior work identified that the patterning of indentions (sulci) in OFC were different between healthy controls and neurodiverse populations, as well as predicted symptom severity and various outcomes (Nakamura et al., 2020). In the present study, we aim to link these two branches of research to understand the role of sulcal morphology in ERI. Preliminary results support both the qualitative perspective that the number of sulci and quantitative perspective […]

Soobin Hong

Studying learning is crucial to understanding the human mind. Currently, active research is being done on the relationship between cognitive processes and memory systems. While most studies focus on the systems individually, much recent research shows that human learning can be better explained by considering multiple systems simultaneously. We focus on the RLWM framework, which suggests that reinforcement learning (RL) and working memory (WM) both contribute significantly to trial-and-error learning. It takes into account the limited capacity of memory, more efficiently accounting for dependence of learning on the number of items learned in parallel than only considering RL to model behavior. Recent literature has shown that episodic memory (EM) contributes to learning alongside RL and WM. However, no study has examined the role of all three systems (RL, WM, EM) jointly so far. This project, therefore, aims to find whether EM affects RLWM learning and how it contributes to the […]

Colin Chamberlin

In 1746, the Battle of Culloden ended in a defeat of the Jacobites and quickly spelled the end for the unique Gaelic-speaking society that had developed in the Scottish Highlands. This is the common narrative for the decline of Gaelic-speaking Scotland and the clan system that was associated with it. My project seeks to investigate how this narrative might be complicated because of the ways in which Highlanders and their culture had become increasingly Anglicized since the reign of King James IV, the last Gaelic-speaking King of Scotland. One of the ways this cultural shift will be investigated is through the analysis of shifts in Highland bagpiping from a more Gaelic tradition to a more typical Western tradition.

Alexandra Cunningham

Research across artistic disciplines has demonstrated that participation in the arts has a profound positive impact on the life of an individual, and on communities at large. An ecological public health model even enlists access to the arts as a core factor in shaping an individuals response to their social determinants of health. The art form of ballet, however, is working against a 400-year history of exclusionary practices and elitism that challenges the its relevancy and solvency in contemporary society. Increasingly, ballet companies are designing programming to be accessible to more diverse populations, including neurodiverse communities; however, this is an understudied field. My research aims to fill this gap in knowledge with a specific focus on dance programs designed for neurodiverse communities. The goal of my research is to create a framework of practices, interventions, and strategies that can be adopted by ballet companies to increase accessibility of the art […]