While earning my Ph.D. in Educational Psychology (Applied Cognition and Development) at the University of Georgia, I researched how people think and feel about harming animals in specific ways (e.g. eating meat), and how to change these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  I am also interested in researching how digital media and educational technologies influence moral education through harm perception.

Research Interests

  • Moral Psychology and Moral Education about Animal Ethics
    • Folk Beliefs about Animal Minds (Mind Perception of Animals)
    • Moral Judgements and Moral Emotions (e.g. guilt) about Harming Animals
    • Rationalizations for Harming Animals
    • Relationship between Mind Perception of Animals and Moral Motivation to Harm Animals
  • Moral Education through Digital Media and Educational Technologies
    • Design Strategies for Influencing Moral Attitudes Through Harm Perception
    • Hiding Harm through Dark Patterns

Research Methods

  • Online Experiments
  • Ethnography

Current Projects

  • Animal Welfare Ontology
    • I am starting to design an ontology for animal welfare so that farmers and food companies can have a standard schema for sharing information about animal welfare data during the food production process.

Past Projects

  • Doctoral Dissertation
    • The Influence of Beliefs about Animal Agency on Moral Judgments about Harming Animals I researched how beliefs about the minds of animals influence moral concern for harming them in terms of moral judgments, feelings of guilt, and behavioral intentions.
  • Masters Thesis
    • We the undersigned: anonymous dissent and the struggle for personal identity in online petitions I researched how online petitions functioned rhetorically.