Recent Updates

  • 04.04.2017 - I am a recipient of the MPA Diversity Travel Award. The award will be provided at the 2017 meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.
  • 01.05.2017 - I will be giving a talk, titled "Feeling with or caring for? Comparing empathy and compassion avoidance,” at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting on Thursday April 20, 2017 between 1:00pm-2:50pm.
    Details of my talk will be posted here as soon as they are available.
  • 12.21.2016 - Our paper, titled “Empathy is a choice: People are empathy misers because they are cognitive misers,” is available on SSRN.
  • 12.05.2016 - My poster at SPSP, “Feeling with or caring for?: Comparing empathy and compassion avoidance,” will be included in Poster Session J (J-042).
  • 09.30.2016 - My poster at SPSP, “Feeling with or caring for? Comparing empathy and compassion avoidance,” will be presented on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 8:15am-9:30am. Details of my board assignment will be released as soon as they are available.
  • 09.13.2016 - Our paper, titled “Implicit moral evaluations: A multinomial modelling approach” was recently accepted at Cognition. Please reference the paper here for our submission.
  • 08.30.2016 - I will be at the annual meeting for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology(SPSP) this upcoming January in San Antonio, Texas. I will be presenting a poster on our work comparing empathy and compassion avoidance (collaborators: Dr. Daryl Cameron & Dr. Michael Inzlicht). Details about my presentation time and board assignment will be posted here as soon as they are released.

Social Neuroscience, Emotion-Regulation, Self-Regulation, Empathy, Cognitive Control


I was born and lived in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) for over 23 years. More specifically, I was located in the eastern region of Scarborough. I graduate from the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) in 2013 after completing degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology. During my time at UTSC, I was a research assistant and lab manager for Dr. Michael Inzlicht’s Toronto Laboratory for Social Neuroscience and Dr. Elizabeth Page-Gould’s Embodied Social Cognition Lab.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I re-located to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa. Working with Dr. Daryl Cameron, I obtained my Master’s degree in Psychology, branching together my interests in morality, self-regulation, empathy, and social neuroscience. I was a participant of the NIH-funded T32 training program, through which I was able to rotate in Dr. Daniel Tranel’s Neuropsychology Lab and Dr. Jan Wessel’s Cognitive Neurology Lab. Both opportunities provided me with experience with the Iowa Lesion Patient Registry as well as EEG methods.

I am currently located in State College, Pennsylvania where I attend Penn State University for my doctoral degree. Outside of my research I enjoy being a gym rat, playing competitive basketball and volleyball, and engaging in the occasional binge watching of Family Guy and The Simpsons.


Research Questions

  • What are the psychological rewards and costs of empathy?

I am examining the reasons why people avoid feeling prosocial emotions like empathy and compassion for others using multiple levels of analysis. I currently operate under the framework that empathy is a choice, and that more work can be done to model this choice phase (Cameron, Inzlicht, & Cunningham, under review). Through the use of novel empathy regulation methods (i.e., The Empathy Selection Task; Cameron, Hutcherson, Ferguson, Scheffer, & Inzlicht, under review; Scheffer, Cameron, & Inzlicht, in prep), I am studying when and why people avoid feeling empathy and compassion for others. Additionally, I am using the lesion method and EEG to examine whether associations between the psychological costs of empathy are manifested in the brain (Scheffer, Reber, Cameron, & Tranel, in prep).


Other Interests

Affective Neuroscience, Amygdala, Anterior Cingulate Cortex, Emotional Intelligence, Moral Outrage