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PEOPLE

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

ALIA CRUM

Alia J. Crum, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and the Principle Investigator of the Stanford Mind & Body Lab. She received her PhD from Yale University and BA degree from Harvard University. Dr. Crum’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets—the core assumptions we make about things and processes in the world—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Her work is, in part, inspired by research on the placebo effect, a robust demonstration of the ability of mindsets to elicit healing properties in the body. She is interested in understanding how mindsets affect important outcomes both within and beyond the realm of medicine, in domains such as exercise, diet, and stress. Moreover, Dr. Crum’s research aims to understand how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately changed through intervention to affect physiological and psychological well-being. To date, her research has won several awards including the NIH New Innovator Award and the Association for Psychological Science’s Rising Star Award. She is also the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award and the Dean’s Award for First Years of Teaching at Stanford University. In addition to her academic research and teaching, Dr. Crum has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and has created, delivered, and evaluated interventions focused on mindset change for organizations including LinkedIn, UBS, Stanford Healthcare, and the United States Navy.  

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LAB MANAGER

ISAAC HANDLEY-MINER

Isaac graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Economics. He joined the Mind & Body Lab after working in advertising and conducting research on social and emotional learning for a nonprofit devoted to positive youth development. Isaac is particularly interested in the explanations people generate to make sense of changes in their health. In his spare time, Isaac plays ultimate frisbee, goes for hikes, and daydreams about being a landscape photographer.

 


POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLARS

PARKER GOYER

Parker Goyer is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Stanford. In addition to Alia Crum, she also works with Greg Walton and Geoff Cohen, and with Angela Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania. She has considerable experience in survey design and in multilevel cross-sectional and longitudinal modeling, having studied under a renowned statistics expert, John Willett, at Harvard, where she received her doctorate in 2014. From 2009-2011 she was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, where she received an MSc in Comparative and International Education and an MBA. In 2007 she founded a program called Coach for College which uses sports-learning service camps run by U.S. college athletes in conjunction with Vietnamese college students, to improve educational outcomes for rural adolescents in Vietnam. To date, the program has served more than 4000 youth and 350 U.S. college athletes from 39 universities. In addition to serving as the program's director, she led a randomized trial of the program, involving more than 700 students in each of two provinces of Vietnam. She received a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University in 2007, where she was also a member of the women's tennis team.

BRAD TURNWALD

Trained as a biologist at Ohio Wesleyan University, Brad has done research on everything from yeast to nematodes to human cells, and even spent a summer being way too curious about protein expression patterns in human diarrhea.  He eventually decided that humans were the most interesting creature and is now a postdoc in the Psychology Department at Stanford. Brad is especially interested in understanding how mindsets can affect physiological outcomes and health-related behaviors. Outside of lab, Brad can usually be found trail running in the beautiful Bay Area, playing the pipe organ, cooking (almost exclusively curry these days), playing volleyball with friends, and camping.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Danielle Boles

DANIELLE BOLES

Danielle received her BA in Psychology and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on improving mindsets about diet and health, enhancing the experience of healthy eating, and measuring the power of such mindsets and experiences to influence behavior and physiology. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys learning oldies songs on the guitar and ukulele, working on 1000+ piece puzzles, and indulging in green smoothies, fried chicken, and donuts.

KARI LEIBOWITZ

Kari began her PhD in Social Psychology in 2015, and her research seeks to understand and optimize psychological and social forces in healthcare, with an emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship. Kari received her BA from Emory University in 2012 and served as the the Program Coordinator for the Emory-Tibet Partnership from 2012-2014. In this role she coordinated the visit of the Dalai Lama to Emory in 2013. Kari also spent a year as a U.S.-Norway Fulbright scholar studying wintertime mindset above the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, Norway. Her writing has been featured in The Conversation and The Atlantic. When she’s not in her office, you can find Kari in the pottery studio, reading fiction, or tending to her houseplants.

KENGTHSAGN LOUIS

Kengthsagn received her BA in Psychology from Skidmore College with a minor in Business. Her research broadly focuses on how different health mindsets and cultures impact people's health behaviors and physiology. Kengthsagn spends her spare time watching documentaries, dreaming about Caribbean cuisine, dancing, and now learning to draw.

ERIK SANTORO

Erik received a BA in Economics from Yale University, where he formed the discussion group The Examined Life and developed a love for deep introspection.   After working in the world of management consulting for two years at Bain & Co, Erik was excited to try his hand at mindset research and application as the inaugural MBL lab manager.  Erik is especially interested in understanding how to harness the power of beliefs to improve our everyday experiences and physiology.  In his free time, Erik enjoys reading science fiction and tech blogs, staying in touch with long-distance friends, exercising on the elliptical machine, and eating cookies.

ERIC SMITH

Eric is a PhD student in Social Psychology.  His interests focus on how people respond to challenge, uncertainty, and failure, particularly in an academic setting.  After receiving his bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in Psychology and Biology, he helped develop educational interventions at PERTS with Dave Paunesku and Carissa Romero, and managed an emotion regulation intervention under the direction of James Gross. Eric is passionate about promoting ethical research practices and responsible applications of psychological insights. Outside of his research interests, Eric's recent accomplishments include designing a website, building a Death Star out of Legos, and filing his taxes on time.

OCTAVIA ZAHRT

Octavia is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior studying activity adequacy mindsets – people’s mindsets that their level of physical activity is adequate or inadequate, and thus beneficial or harmful to their health. Her research investigates how public health guidelines, social comparison with peers, and wearable fitness technologies shape these mindsets. Octavia holds a BA in European Social and Political Studies from University College London. In her free time, Octavia enjoys music, dancing, dabbling with art, exploring national parks and other new places. You can learn more about Octavia at her website: www.octaviazahrt.com.

SEAN ZION

Sean started his PhD in Social Psychology at Stanford in the fall of 2016. He is interested in how patients’ mindsets, beliefs, and expectations impact physical health, treatment outcomes, and well being. His current work focuses on understanding how mindsets about illness function in patients with chronic illness. Prior to joining MBL, Sean received a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Psychology from Boston University. He also spent two years working in clinical research at Harvard Medical School and teaching undergraduate psychology classes at BU. When he’s not in the lab, Sean enjoys traveling, kayaking, listening to audiobooks, and exploring California with his Australian Shepherd, Tucker.

RESEARCH COORDINATORS

KRISTOPHER EVANS

Kris received a BA in Sociology and Communications from Stanford. Fascinated by the ability of the mind-body mechanism, the study of people, and optimal performance he joined the lab to investigate and learn more. He is involved in a variety of organizations focused on researching, developing and empowering individuals by utilizing the power of the mind-body to enhance health, well-being, and performance. Outside of the lab, you might find Kris teaching Yoga, reflecting on the self, or playing League of Legends.
 

 


RINA HORII

Rina received her BA in Psychology from Stanford in 2018. Her honors thesis with the Mind and Body Lab tested an intervention to change mindsets about healthy eating. As a Research Coordinator, Rina hopes to continue learning how to harness mindsets and other psychological forces to improve health and well-being. In her spare time, Rina enjoys sketching, reading cookbooks, and learning how to propagate plants.

MAGGIE PERRY

Maggie received a BS in Marketing with Psychology support from Clemson University in 2013. After working in various marketing roles, she decided to pursue her passion for psychology full time. Her interests include exploring the various ways in which mindsets can change behaviors in an effort to empower individuals to thrive. Outside of the lab, you can find her playing with puppies, eating sushi, and listening to true crime podcasts.

 


HONORS THESIS STUDENTS

2019 - 2020

MICHELLE CHANG

Michelle is a senior majoring in Psychology who has been a research assistant in the lab since her freshman year. Building upon a project she did last summer hosting community discussion spaces about death all across the U.S., she is now working on her honors thesis to understand the mindsets people have about death. She is particularly interested in expanding beyond Western narratives of death anxiety to incorporate the fuller spectrum of how death is viewed. Beyond the lab, Michelle organizes an art project with incarcerated artists, volunteers at a crisis hotline, and designs zines.

SHANNON RICHARDSON

Shannon is a senior B.S. candidate in Human Biology at Stanford. Starting as a research assistant in the Mind & Body Lab her freshman year, she was interested in how mindsets could shape physiological health outcomes. Now, Shannon is working on her honors thesis, which aims to understand the mindsets patients and physicians hold about pain and the body in the Emergency Department (ED). When she isn't in the lab, you'll likely find Shannon on the sand, playing for Stanford's varsity beach volleyball team. In her free time, she enjoys painting, reading, and volunteering in the ED at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

SUMMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

2019

TANIA DHALIWAL

Tania is a rising senior from India. At Stanford, she is majoring in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Neuroscience and a minor in Data Science. As she explores social psychology, Tania is interested in changing mindsets and healthy eating behaviors. Outside of the lab, you'll most likely find her fulfilling her Resident Assistant role, hiking in the Bay area, watching comedy stand-ups, or obsessing over tennis and Formula One.

JULIA KWAK

Julia is a rising sophomore studying Philosophy and Education. In the lab, she is interested in mitigating health disparities by utilizing productive mindsets about health. She is currently working on a curriculum to teach high school students and their families healthier mindsets about stress and illness. She relieves her own stress by jazz dancing and singing with the Stanford Chamber Chorale.

PAST LAB MEMBERS

Research Coordinators

MAGGIE PERRY

EMERSON HARDEBECK

RACHEL HANEY

Honors Thesis Students

2018-2019

MATTHEW BERNSTEIN

ANGELA LEE

2017-2018

TAYLOR DUARTE

STEVE RATHJE

RINA HORII

Summer Research Assistants

2018

SHANNON RICHARDSON

2017

MICHELLE CHANG

NATALIE SAMUELS

2016

RINA HORII

ELIJAH ZENGER

2015

CHARLENE CHAMBLISS-RUDIGER

ANNIE GRAHAM

CAYLA HATTON

SONALI SINGH


PAST LAB PHOTOS

2018 LAB PHOTO

2017 LAB PHOTO

2016 LAB PHOTO

2015 lab photo