Jennifer obtained her B.A. in Psychology at California State University, Channel Islands in 2014. She is currently a doctoral candidate working with Dr. Eric Walle in the Interpersonal Development Lab. Her research has investigated how individuals talk about discrete emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, disgust, fear, and joy). This line of work has found that individuals highlight particular aspects of emotional contexts (images) differently depending on the emotion being displayed. For instance, adults describe the objects in fear and disgust images more so than in the other emotion images (anger, sad, or joy). Adults also highlight the person displaying the emotion more in anger and sadness than other images. A similar pattern was found in how parents talk to their infants about emotion images, thus showing a possible way parents may socialize their children to understand emotions. To further investigate this developmental process, an additional study found that older, but not younger, preschool-aged children’s talk about emotions mirrored how parents describe emotional contexts. Her dissertation work builds off these studies to investigate how differences in the talk about emotions may influence infant responding to emotions.
Jennifer has been an organizing force in the Psychological Sciences program through her dedication to furthering the connections between the graduate and undergraduate populations as a Psychology Symposium co-chair in 2015 and 2017. She also facilitated the implementation of the Psychological Sciences Graduate Student Survey as a founding committee member in 2018.