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Rongxin Cheng (2019 - 2021); incoming Ph.D. student at UC Davis in Fall 2021


Rongxin explores the characteristics of people who are attracted to paradoxical knowers, namely, people who claim to know what is unknowable to the world or others. In her thesis, she examines attraction to paradoxical knowing within the context of COVID-19 (knowing the future of COVID-19 with high certainty). She is interested in understanding the role of people's vulnerabilities (e.g., perceived victimhood, anxiety) during the pandemic in attraction to paradoxical knowers.


Murat Hosgor (2019 -  2021); incoming Ph.D. student at Fordham University in Fall 2021


Murat's research lies at the intersection of Psychology and Media. Specifically, he relies on theories of self-regulation in Social Psychology to understand social media use and engagement. In his thesis, he employs the WOOP strategy to enhance self-regulatory mechanisms on social media use. On a broader scope, he is interested in exploring the relationship between college students' academic/social goals and the patterns of their social media use. 


Brandon Neglio (2019 -  2021)


Brandon's research investigates the relationship between paradoxical knowing and self-regulation tendencies. Specifically, he looks at whether there is a connection between the use of Mental Contrasting (MC) strategy in goal attainment (reflecting on one's current internal obstacles in the context of the desired future) and paradoxical knowing.  He asks whether those that use high amounts of paradoxical knowledge in their daily lives ("I know things that are unknowable") would be less willing to use MC, a self-regulation strategy that has been shown to be effective in facilitating goal-directed behavior in various contexts (e.g., health, education). 


Young Ju Ryu (2019 - 2021/expected)


Young-Ju's research compares the two different types of epistemic convictions; intellectual humility and paradoxical knowing. Specifically, her thesis focuses on how people with high intellectual humility vs. paradoxical knowing react in the face of intellectual failure, for example, by adopting distinct social comparison motivations (e.g., self-improvement vs. self-enhancement). In another study, she examines the relationship between intellectual humility and preventive health practices for COVID-19 (e.g., social distancing, handwashing, mask-wearing) through correlational and experimental methods. 


Neharika Nair (2019-2020); incoming Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois at Chicago in Fall 2021

Neharika investigated rejected victimhood (feeling like a victim though most others do not recognize it) and its antisocial outcomes in her thesis. In another project, she worked on the phenomenon of choice overload. 


Jiaxuan (Leah) Li (2021 - 2022/expected)

Amy Huang (2021 - 2022/expected)



 I have extensive experience supervising research assistants (2-8 students per semester) at every step of research. 

Current Research Assistants

Aleyna Dogan, Kiril Kiselev, Jiaxuan (Leah) Li, Lee Cui, Rachel Zipin, Samantha Toma, Sophia Guo, Maria Jose Magro