People

Director: Linda Acitelli, Ph.D.

2010-2011 Lab Members

Current Graduate Students

Julie Brunson

Background:
I am originally from Lafayette, Indiana, and I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ball State University in 2009. I am currently pursuing a PhD in social psychology at the University of Houston.

Research Interests:
I am primarily interested in close relationships and their interaction with the self. I also enjoy social cognition and investigate many topics from this framework. I am currently involved in a variety of research projects, including work investigating relationship awareness and the effects of previous partners of self-schemas, relationship schemas, and partner preferences. In addition, I am beginning to examine interpersonal attraction and speed-dating methodology, ambivalence over emotional expression and relationships, and cognitive interventions for victims of domestic violence. With other members of our lab, I am also working on projects investigating the concept of feeling worthy of love, the transition from friendships to romantic relationships, and Facebook and relationships. I love research and am always excited to get a new project started (or finish up an old one!) In the future, I hope to increase my work on social cognition and relational schemas.

Personal Info:
When I’m not involved in schoolwork, I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and friends. I also love traveling, although I can’t afford to do it as often as I would like. I have had problems with my foot lately that have interfered with many of my favorite activities, but I hope to get back to jogging, rollerblading, and playing racquetball again soon. Other than that, I love to read, will occasionally pursue an artistic endeavor, and have all of the old Garfield and Friends tv shows on DVD.

See/hide Publications and Poster presentations »

Acitelli, L. K., Wickham, R. E., Brunson, J. A., & Nguyen, M. (2011). When couples read stories about other couples’ relationships. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Antonio, TX.

Brunson, J. A., Blazek, N. L., Wendt, R. E., & Forbey, J. D. (2008, April). MMPI-2 correlates and predictors of the Family Functioning Scale. Poster presented at the Ball State psychology department poster session, Muncie, IN.

Blazek, N. L., Wendt, R. E., Brunson, J. A., & Forbey, J. D. (2008, March). An examination of the construct validity of the Anger Idiom Scale. Poster presented at the Ball State University Student Symposium, Muncie, IN.

Mai-Ly Nguyen

Background:
I have a diverse background in the fields of biology, psychology, and communication studies, and my goal is to bridge the gaps between these distinct disciplines. Before pursuing a Ph.D. in social psychology, I graduated with two undergraduate degrees in biology and broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in communications from California State University Los Angeles. Also, prior to enrolling at U of H, I worked for many years in television in Los Angeles. My credentials include being an associate producer for the History Channel series, “Modern Marvels”, Lifetime’s “Intimate Portrait”, ABC’s “Life of Luxury” and serving as researcher for “The Insider”, and A&E’s “Biography”. And yes, I do miss it but I do not miss the high cost of living and the horrendous LA traffic!

Research Interests:
One of my primary research interests is how communication through computer-mediated forums defines and shapes human interactions, particularly in close relationships. To this end, I am currently conducting research on the social networking site, Facebook. In addition, through a biosocial model of health and illness class, I became interested in face-to-face interactions, in which people want to communicate emotions but are unable to express them. Specifically, I am studying ambivalence over emotional expression (AEE) in interdependent Asian populations and how this relates to mental and physical health. My sincere desire is not only to contribute knowledge to academia but also to propose practical solutions that help people in their day-to-day lives and broadly impact understanding between cultures.

Personal Info:
I have a passion for traveling and in fact spent a year living abroad. My favorite places in the world that I have visited so far are London, Munich, different regions of China, and Jaisalmer, India. However, South Africa, Australia, Eastern Europe, and additional Asian countries are still on my bucket list! I am also an avid film buff who loves movies from the 1930’s to 1960’s and old television shows from the 1950’s to the 1960’s. Lately, I have been spending a lot of my free time renovating the house I own with my boyfriend and walking our fur baby (a Tibetan Spaniel). My ultimate dream is come up with that one, big psychologically inspired idea which makes me millions of dollars –either that or to become a tenured professor living on less than a million a year. It’s a tossup.

See/hide Publications and Poster presentations »

Acitelli, L. K., Wickham, R. E., Brunson, J., & Nguyen, M. (2011, January). When couples read stories about other couples’ relationships. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference: San Antonio, TX.

Camilla Overup

Background:
Originally from Denmark, I came to the States in 2005 to attend Marshall University, WV., and swim on their swim team. In 2009, I received my B.A. in psychology, with a minor in Biology. I am currently working on my Ph.D at University of Houston.

Research Interests:
I am primarily interested in the intersection between close relationships and the self. Among others, I am interested in how communicatory behaviors (whether verbal or non-varbal) affect the process of negotiation identities in various interpersonal relationships. I am currently involved in a variety of research projects, including work investigating self-presentational communication within a variety of relationships, with focus being on elucidation the factors that affect the choice of overall self-presentational styles and specific tactics.

Additionally, I am interested in the antecedents and consequences of intimate partner violence, and the effect of such violence in relationship schemas.

See/hide Publications and Poster presentations »

Overup, C. S., Marion, B. E., Teran, S., Muellerleile, P., & Warner, J. (2010, January). Winning the Voting 'Race': SDO predicts party membership. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference: Las Vegas, NV.

Overup, C. S., Marion, B. E., Teran, S., Muellerleile, P., & Warner, J. (2009, November). Winning the Voting 'Race': SDO predicts party membership. Poster presented at the Society of Southeastern Social Psychologists annual conference: Fort Myers, FL.

Overup, C. S., Marion, B., Baker, A., Muellerleile, P., & Warner, J. L. (2009, March). The worst of reasons: McCain benefitted from voters’ racism in the 2008 presidential election. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting: Pittsburgh, PA.

Marion, B. E., Overup, C. S., Baker, A., Muellerleile, P., & Warner, J. L. (2009, March). No heartless vampire demons nor enemies of democracy here: Neither Jon Stewart nor the national nightly news keep college students from voting. Poster presented at the Eastern Psychological Association annual meeting: Pittsburgh, PA.

Overup, C. S., DeLong, T., Hurley, S. F., & Muellerleile, P. (2009, February). A campus in crisis: Student responses to a co-ed murder. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference: Tampa, FLA.

Overup, C. S., Delong, T., Hurley, S. F., Saunders, T., & Muellerleile, P. (2008, June). Sexualized violence on TV: An archival analysis of SVU. Poster presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues biennial meeting: Chicago, IL.

Hurley, S. F., Delong, T., Overup, C. S., Partovi, B., Saunders, T., & Muellerleile, P. (2008, June). Crimes of sexual violence: Gender affects risk perception. Poster presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues biennial meeting: Chicago, IL.

Overup, C. S., Delong, T., Hurley, S. F., Saunders, T., & Muellerleile, P. (2008, May). TV crime dramas affect students’ perceptions of risk. Poster presented at the Sigma Xi annual meeting: Huntington, WV.