Dr. Alia Crum received her PhD from Yale University and BA degree from Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. To date, her research has won several awards including the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award and attention in several popular media including the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and in The New York Times Magazine’s 2007 “Year in Ideas.” In addition to her academic research and teaching, Dr. Crum has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and as an organizational trainer and consultant, creating, delivering, and evaluating workshops on mindset change and stress management for organizations including UBS, Colgate Palmolive and the United States Navy. In her spare time she enjoys putting her theories to the test while training and racing triathlon with her husband, Ryan Johnson.
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.
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 began her PhD in Social Psychology in 2015. She is interested in understanding how best to promote mindsets that increase psychosocial well-being, with a particular emphasis on understanding compassionate mindsets in various populations. Kari received her BA from Emory University in 2012. After graduation, Kari spent two years as the Program Coordinator for the Emory-Tibet Partnership and coordinated the visit of the Dalai Lama to Emory in 2013. Kari also spent a year studying wintertime mindset above the Arctic Circle in Norway under a Fulbright research grant. A few of Kari’s favorite things are rainy days, brunch, and taking naps.
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 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.
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 second year PhD student in the Social 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 some volleyball with friends, and camping.
Octavia is a PhD student in Organizational Behavior. She is interested in understanding how social and environmental influences affect people’s health mindsets, behaviors, and outcomes. Her current research investigates these questions in the contexts of social comparison with peers, wearable fitness technologies, and workplace health programs. Octavia holds a BA in European Social and Political Studies from University College London. In her free time, Octavia enjoys singing in the Stanford choir, exploring national parks and other new places, and playing board games with friends.
Sean started his PhD in Social Psychology at Stanford in the fall of 2016. He is interested in understanding mindsets about mental and physical illnesses and how these mindsets impact treatment outcomes. 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 daydreaming about owning a golden retriever.
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.
While earning his B.A. in English Literature at Arizona State University, Emerson practiced noticing and describing his own and others' thoughts and attitudes—mainly so he could write funny stories about them. At Stanford, he now works to understand how those same thoughts and attitudes can be empirically measured, and shifted, to alleviate suffering. Emerson is most interested in developing interventions to increase social connectedness and improve people's close relationships, which has important consequences for physical and psychological health. In his free time, Emerson answers phones at San Francisco Suicide Prevention, soaks up sunsets at Ocean Beach, and still enjoys funny stories.
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
2017 - 2018
Taylor is a senior at Stanford majoring in Psychology and minoring in Creative Writing. After taking Introduction to Social Psychology with Professor Crum, she became immensely interested in the work of the Mind & Body Lab and how our mindsets can influence healthy fitness behaviors. She is currently working on an honors thesis with Dr. Crum and PhD student Brad Turnwald to test the effectiveness of a process mindset intervention on one's adherence to a fitness-related goal. When she's not researching mindsets about exercise, you can find Taylor in the gym, volunteering at the Bridge Peer Counseling Center, reading poetry in the sun, or wishing she could be on the beach in her native South Florida.
Rina is an undergraduate student at Stanford and after taking a class with Professor Crum, jumped at the opportunity to learn more about different health beliefs and mindsets. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to continue to learn more about the power of mindsets and the ability of the mind to influence the body. When not busy with schoolwork or the lab, Rina is most likely upside down and underwater, training with Stanford’s synchronized swimming team.
Steve Rathje is a rising Senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Symbolic Systems. Steve has been a research assistant with the Mind & Body Lab since the lab first started during his Freshman year. He has worked on a number of projects in the lab, and is currently working on his honors thesis with Professor Crum and Erik Santoro, which examines how certain metaphors of the mind and body influence our mindsets, reasoning, and behavior. When he's not researching metaphors in the lab, you can find Steve writing metaphors for his plays and short stories, volunteering at the Bridge Peer Counseling Center, seeing theatre, or organizing an annual playwriting festival he started in his hometown of Portland, OR.
SUMMER RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Michelle is an undergraduate student at Stanford whose fascination with the power of mind-body connection began after she witnessed firsthand how her mother’s “not-a-patient” mindset resulted in a painless recovery from an intensive surgery. She is particularly interested in the social dynamics of mindset—in the influence that someone’s mindset may have on others’ mindsets, and in the experience of sharing mindsets with others. In her free time, Michelle watches documentaries (on anything from sushi chefs to identity theft), writes letters to prisoners, dabbles in graphic design, and tends to her one-centimeter-tall succulents.
Natalie is a rising senior at Stanford who first learned about Professor Crum’s work in a health psychology course. She is a psychology major with a health and development focus, so when she heard about the Mind and Body Lab’s pursuit to uncover the self-fulfilling nature of health beliefs and mindsets, she knew she had found the right place to develop her research skills. When she’s not hitting the books or analyzing data in the lab, you’ll find Natalie wandering around San Francisco with her old film camera, practicing yoga, or you may not be able to find her at all—she loves going deep into the wilderness to backpack and camp.
PAST LAB MEMBERS
Summer Research Assistants
PAST LAB PHOTOS
2016 LAB PHOTO
2015 lab photo