It's the people in the lab that matter. Here are the team members who we couldn't conduct our research without.
Lab Director/Principle Investigator
Erica Slotter is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Villanova University. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2011. Dr. Slotter’s work focuses on the social factors that influence identity. In particular, she examines how various social role transitions influence both the content and clarity of people’s self-concepts.
Erin Hughes is in her second year of Villanova University’s Master’s of Science in Psychology program. She received her BA in Psychology from Monmouth University. Erin hopes to pursue a doctorate in social psychology upon graduation. Her research interests include the interplay between the self-concept and romantic relationships, specifically how the self changes throughout a relationship and the subsequent outcomes
Katie Adams is a second-year Master’s student. She received her B.A. in Psychology with Honors in Research from the University of Rochester. Her research interests largely concentrate on individuals’ mating strategies and motivations for initiating romantic relationships and sexual behaviors. She is currently investigating dyadic compliments and relational mate value, as well as self-expansion within relationships.
Becca Divas is a second-year graduate student. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in Psychology in 2015. For her Masters Thesis, she is researching the effects of social role transitions on self-concept clarity, specifically for graduating seniors. After graduation, Becca hopes to work with adolescents as a clinical psychologist.
Zach Oxford is a second-year Master’s student. He received degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Gonzaga university before joining the lab, and his current research interests involve prejudice, nationalism, and attraction. He is currently investigating if individuals have a physical type over time using digital avatars.
Sam Dashineau is a first year Master’s student. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with an Honor’s B.S. in Psychology. Her research interests focus on examining interpersonal functioning in association to personality and its pathology, particularly as this manifests in romantic relationships. Upon graduation, she hopes to purse a PhD in Clinical Psychology.
Cayla Milius is a first year graduate student in Villanova's Experimental Psychology Master's Program. She graduated from George Mason University in 2016 with a BA in Psychology. Cayla's research interests include romantic relationships and their correlates to optimal well-being.
Laura McGuigan is a senior psychology major, who is interested in intimate partner violence, subsequent trauma, and post-traumatic growth, as well as issues related to sexual assault and sexual violence. Laura is a certified safe zone counselor and facilitates bystander intervention trainings with POWER, a team of health promotion peer educators.
James Dzera is a 3 year lab veteran. He is a neuroscience major who is interested in understanding the etiology of psychological disorders. He works with children on the autism spectrum to promote positive social interaction and hopes to become a clinical psychologist in order to treat individuals with psychological disorders.
Sarah Song currently is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in counseling. A particular topic that interests her is attachment styles and their effects on how young adults fight with their partners. She is hoping to get her masters in either counseling or clinical psychology.
Brendan Scull is an undergraduate student currently pursuing a B.S. in psychology. He is interested in examining social and cultural influences on psychopathology. Brendan hopes to continue his education by obtaining his master’s degree before pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology.
Lab alumni typically continue to collaborate on projects with us even after they've moved on to bigger and better things. We currently have former team members all over the country. Below are some of our recent alums!
Shannon Testa received her B.A. in Psychology from Villanova University in 2017. While at Villanova, she served on the executive board of the VU Mental Health Advocacy & Awareness group. Her research interests include how implicit attitudes related to gender and ethnicity lead to prejudice and bias, and the resulting outcomes of being the target of these attitudes. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree in either social or clinical psychology.
Jessica Grom received her BA in Psychology and in International Politics (National Security Option) from The Pennsylvania State University and her MS in Psychology from Villanova University. Her Master’s thesis was completed under the direction of Dr. Erica Slotter and investigated whether self-control and attachment anxiety predicted IPV and displaced aggression. She is currently a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at Georgia State University (mentor: Dr. Dominic Parrott). Her current research interests include identifying risk and protective factors for alcohol-facilitated intimate partner violence.
Lydia is a graduate student at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. from Haverford College, where she majored in Psychology and English. Lydia volunteered in the Social Self Lab for several years during her time in the area. Before coming to Northwestern, she worked as a research coordinator at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Lydia’s research focuses on (a) the self and relationships, including how people's self-concepts shape their relationships and how couples understand their identity together, and (b) how socioeconomic status (SES) influences people's relationships