Former Student Spotlight: Jeremy Jamieson

LW_editedJeremy Jamieson received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Northeastern University in 2009, working under Professor Stephen Harkins, and currently works at the University of Rochester. In this post, part of an ongoing series on the current work of our former graduate students, Jeremy describes his current work and the ways in which his experiences at Northeastern helped to shape his career.

I am currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rochester and head up the Social Stress Laboratory. My lab includes one post-doctoral scholar, two Ph.D. students, and 20-25 undergraduate research assistants. Prior to beginning my faculty appointment at Rochester, I completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychophysiology at Harvard University.

My research seeks to understand how social stressors (evaluative threat, ostracism, bullying, stereotype threat, etc.) impact decisions, emotions, and performance. I am particularly interested in using physiological indices of bodily and mental states to delve into the biological mechanisms underlying the effects of stress on downstream outcomes. I also study emotion regulation processes. My research in this area demonstrates that altering cognitive appraisals of internal signs of stress can go a long ways towards improving physiological and cognitive outcomes during stressful situations. Recently, my graduate students and I have started to explore physiological synchrony and contagion. That is, we seek to answer questions about how individuals’ physiological responses to stress shape the responses of their interaction partners.

At Northeastern I received top-flight methodological and statistical training from the distinguished faculty in the Psychology Department, and social psychology area in particular. More importantly, the unique academic environment at Northeastern allowed me the autonomy to relentlessly pursue the research questions I found most interesting. This freedom led to cross-area collaborations and the expansion of my theoretical knowledge. For example, my specific area of training was in social psychology, but during my time at Northeastern I also worked with faculty in the cognitive psychology area to adapt eye-tracking methods to study low-level motivational processes. Moreover, the strong research focus of the psychology Ph.D. program prepared me well for the rigors of an academic research career.

The connections I made during my time at Northeastern shaped (and continue to shape) me both personally and professionally. Some of my closest friendships were forged during my graduate training, and my research lab currently collaborates with faculty who were once fellow graduate students at Northeastern. I also remain in close contact with my graduate advisor and other faculty in the social area, and am always excited to reconnect at professional conferences. Simply put, without my time at Northeastern I would not be the researcher or person I am today.