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Director: C. Raymond Knee, Ph.D. (Chip)

2013-2014 lab members

Current Graduate Students

Zachary G. Baker

I received a BA in Psychology with minors in Statistics and Political Science from Arcadia University in the Spring of 2013 as well as an MA in Psychology from University of Houston in the Spring of 2015.

Research Interests:

As an undergraduate I researched a number of rather dissimilar topics. I have conducted studies on drugs (using rats), body image (using people), and internationally tested the effects of a proposed new measure of obedience. In recent years, however, Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has become my bread and butter as it seems to apply to just about everything.

Everything I do (research or otherwise) is seen through the lens of SDT. A sample of current projects include the role of attachment in the development of different kinds of romantic passion, the impact of self-determination on romantic attraction, and how we can become more authentic.

Personal Information:
I was born and bred in the suburbs of Philadelphia and Houston is my first experience away that cannot be measured in weeks. I love to read for fun when I have the time and enjoy everything from history to futuristic science fiction. A few recent favorites are The Wright Brothers, Middlesex, The Bridge to Lucy Dunne, and The Martian Chronicles.

Whitney Petit

I received my Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Western Carolina University in 2012. I also received my Master of Arts in General/Experimental Psychology in 2014 from Western Carolina University.

Research Interests:
Throughout my academic career I have investigated phenomenon that address a wide array of research questions. As an undergraduate and master’s student, I mainly conducted research on the social consequences of disparagement humor. For my thesis, however, I shifted gears and investigated the process of devaluing alternative partners, which is a mechanism that people use to maintain their romantic relationships. Consequently, I developed a particular fascination in studying close relationships. At UH, I have begun to more closely study role of motivation in close relationships, and the resulting effect on maintenance strategies as theorized by Self-determination theory. This includes, but is not limited to, need fulfillment and relationship functioning in terms of intimate partner violence and the role of autonomy support within couples in relation to participant thriving. I plan to further explore relationship preservation by creating a personalized intervention to combat unrealistic illusions or expectations of marriage to hopefully buffer the steady decline in relationship satisfaction and prevent relationship dissolution.

Personal Information:
I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. Because of this, I was able to do some of the most spectacular hiking growing up. In my spare time, I still enjoy being outside. Nowadays, you’ll find me at the beach or on a camping trip.

Reese Tou

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and specialized in International Relations from National Taiwan University in 2009. I also received my Master of Science in Social/Personality Psychology in National Taiwan University in 2012

Research Interests:
I am interested in individual and cultural differences in authenticity, romantic relationships, and mental/physical health. Specifically, I conduct research on how authenticity is in fact a more interpersonal concept, how it affects individuals’ mental and physical health, and whether the link between authenticity and mental/physical well-being is universal. I also research individuals’ belief on the nature of relationships (i.e., implicit theories of relationships), and how it influences individuals’ perception of chemistry in early stage of a relationship.

Personal Information:
I grew up in Taipei and spent most of my childhood with violin, viola, and piano. Recently, I enjoy doing CrossFit and using my crafty hands to be a better gardener.

Celia Wong

I received my Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology and my Master of Philosophy in Psychology from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Before I started pursuing PhD study at UH, I served as a lecturer in the School of Professional and Continuing Education (HKUSPACE) Community College, The University of Hong Kong.

Research Interests:
I have diverse research interest in social and health psychology. Self-compassion is one of my major research focus. In my previous studies, I examined the effect of self-compassion on physical and mental health, using both cross-sectional and experimental, longitudinal research design. I am also interested in the topic of stigma, resilience, social support, and health disparities.

Personal Information:
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, a busy international city (if you have never heard about Hong Kong, it is a busy city that is like New York). However, I self-identify as a country person. I enjoy country music and hiking in the nature.

Angie LeRoy

Angie has a dual affiliation with the University of Houston and Rice University. Her research takes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the mind-body connection. A core avenue of her research involves populations under high stress (e.g., individuals experiencing spousal bereavement) and investigates how individual's perceptions of how much or how little they contribute to others (e.g., perceived burdensomeness) influences their health. In addition, her work examines how stress, relationship factors, and an individual's physiology may interact to predict health-related risk factors.

Now Ph.D.s

  • Amy Bush, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer L. Bryan, Ph.D.
  • Amy Canevello, Ph.D.
  • Astrid Cook, Ph.D.
  • Benjamin Hadden, Ph.D.
  • Helen Lee Lin, Ph.D.
  • Cynthia Lonsbary, Ph.D.
  • Aruni Nanayakkara, Ph.D.
  • Clayton Neighbors, Ph.D.
  • Heather Patrick, Ph.D.
  • Bennett Porter, Ph.D.
  • Kristen Petty, Ph. D.
  • Michelle Quist, Ph.D.
  • Lindsey Rodriguez, Ph.D.
  • Ahmet Uysal, Ph.D.
  • Nathaniel Vietor, Ph.D.
  • Robert Wickham, Ph.D.