Graduate Student
Department of Psychology, 125-NI
617.373.8541 (office)
617.373.8714 (fax)


David DeSteno


I am a fifth-year graduate student working toward a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in social psych, with Professor Dave DeSteno. Broadly, my research interests focus on the function of emotions in everyday social interaction. I am interested more specifically in the discrete positive emotions of gratitude and pride, and how these affect our nonverbal behaviors and prosociality. Currently, I am working on several projects. My dissertation research is examining pride and what mechanisms are behind its effects on nonverbal behavior. In a separate line of research, funded by the Templeton Foundation, my lab is also investigating individual differences in the gratitude experience–and how in-lab measures of gratitude might relate to real-world measures. In collaboration with Lisa Feldman Barrett’s lab, I am examining what nonverbal cues people actually use when forming judgments of others’ trustworthiness (and what cues they think they use). Finally, I am also working in collaboration with Harvard and MIT on an NSF project investigating how social robotics can assist in the learning process for preschool-aged children.