I'm a Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and have a joint appointment in Psychology. Since I was an undergraduate, I have been interested in two things at the same time: How and in what ways people differ (my Ph.D. was in Personality Psychology), and how and in what ways people influence each other in close relationships. I've been very fortunate in often being able to pursue my theoretical ideas while addressing important social outcomes (e.g., health or education).
Currently, my research projects fall into three major groupings: (1) creating virtual agents with personality, (2) using interactive media to change risky behavior, and (3) evolutionary approaches to understanding mating differences and life outcomes (e.g., health, reproductive success). I have received over $8 million as Principle Investigator or Co-PI on numerous projects (most related to health outcomes), plus additional funds as a consultant on collaborative transdisciplinary projects.
Over the years my work has been recognized with several awards, including the Gerald R. Miller Early Career Award from the International Network of Personal Relationships, the Phi Kappa Phi Research Mentorship Award, and a Provost's Fellowship at the USC Center for Interdisciplinary Research.