After receiving my Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California Irvine in 2011, I was a Research Fellow in VIMlab at the University of Southern California, a professor at USC and California State University Los Angeles, and a lead researcher at YourMorals and EthicalSystems, where I continue to collaborate with Drs. Jon Haidt, Peter Ditto,  Jesse Graham, and Ravi Iyer. My academic expertise includes:

  • Morality and values: moral intuition, emotion, judgment, and motivated reasoning
  • Personality science, psychographics/psychometrics
  • Industrial-organizational psychology and people analytics
  • Political psychology and the culture wars
  • Close relationships: attachment, love, attraction, relationship satisfaction, online dating
  • Value pluralism: gender and culture differences, groups
  • Psychology of sustainability, energy behavior and efficiency
  • Health and well-being, positive psychology

Creating YourMorals and teaching at Cal State L.A. opened my eyes to the power of psychological science, once freed from the walls of academia, to change people's lives and improve the way we do things.  For several years, in addition to teaching at a university, I worked as an industry research consultant which further convinced me that I want to take the science into the real world. In 2016 I left my job as a professor in Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Area to co-found a Character, a tech startup for improving talent acquisition and development using psychological science.


    I am comfortable with both data and theory-driven model-building. However, I endorse an approach which balances data with theory and which incorporates individual, as well as contextual (situational) factors in explaining behavior. To put it bluntly, I do not believe that sound insights come from throwing numbers in a predictive model to see what sticks. I believe we can, and should, aim higher.


    • Synthesis: organize complex information to identify key questions, problems, and solutions
    • Creativity: generate novel theories, predictions, assessments, methods, and intervention strategies
    • Conceptual thinking: theoretical and data-driven model building, hypothesis generation
    • Literature review: search, evaluate, and summarize scientific and technical information across disciplines
    • Breadth: multi-disciplinary and multi-method approach to research & problem solving 
    • Intervention: design and implement targeted solutions, empirically evaluate effectiveness 


    • Present complex information clearly and at varied technical levels and detail
    • Design and lead training workshops for a range of topics and audiences
    • Technical writing and writing consultation (empirical, theory and review articles, grant writing)
    • Published over 22 peer reviewed academic articles


    • Quantitative and qualitative research: experimental, survey, correlational, longitudinal, large panel, focus groups, in-home interviews, observational studies, text analysis, and content analysis
    • Exploratory and confirmatory data analysis: Regression (simple, logistic, multinomial, hierarchical), Correlation, T-test, Analysis of Variance, Structural Equation Modeling in AMOS, Longitudinal Data Analysis in SAS, Factor Analysis, Data Mining, Cluster Analysis, Dyadic Data Analysis, Content and Text Analysis, Behavioral Coding
    • Measurement: develop and validate psychological assessments, including reliability and validity testing
    • Statistical Software: SPSS, STATA, SAS, AMOS, Psychomorph


    • Initiative: extensive track record of independent and creative thinking
    • Time management: setting goals, priorities, and timelines
    • Interpersonal: extensive collaboration across fields, motivating others, conflict management
    • Mentoring: running meetings, teaching and mentoring assistants and junior colleagues
    • Diversity: working with individuals with diverse gender, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds
    • Outreach: numerous talks for lay audiences, YourMorals