Jump to…Director | Postdocs | Graduate Students | Undergraduate RAs | Alumni

Azim Shariff

Untitled 2Azim Shariff is Associate Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and director of the CaML. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto in 2004, and his doctoral degree at the University of British Columbia in 2010. He then brain-drained to America where he spent 6 years at the University of Oregon. He started at UCI in 2016.


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Graduate Students


Brett Mercier

Brett is a graduate student in social psychology at the University of California, Irvine.  His research focuses on religious beliefs, attitudes towards and consequences of economic inequality, and political bias and polarization.





John Michael Kelly

John Michael is a second-year doctoral student interested in moral, political, and religious psychology–particularly where these areas intersect. He is a proud Iowan and Northwestern alum who’s giving this whole West Coast thing a try.





Hyunjin Koo

Hyunjin Koo Hyunjin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior. Her research interests include social mobility, economic inequality, personality and cross-cultural differences. She is from Korea.





Will Jettinghoff


Will is a graduate student in social-personality psychology at the University of British Columbia, co-advised by Azim Shariff and Kristin Laurin. He is interested in the moral implications of emerging technologies, folk moral psychology, and the process of rationalization.




Lab Manager

Sam Bowers


Sam graduated with a B.S. in Cognitive Science from Yale in 2018. He has been working with Azim and the research team since November 2018. He is stationed at the lab’s “North Campus” at UBC.





Undergraduate RAs


Adam Norris

Adam is a senior double majoring in Psychology & Biology, with an emphasis in Neuroscience. While his interests are broad in the field of Psychology, he plans to pursue a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience, where he is interested in working with neuroimaging (fMRI) to investigate the neurobiological mechanisms of religious and non-religious beliefs, experiences, and their associated differences. In addition to working with the Culture and Morality lab, Adam is also a Resident Assistant for University Housing, where he serves as an academic mentor for students living in the residence halls and encourages them to get involved in scientific research on campus.



Shanna Swezey

Shanna is a departmental honor student double majoring in Psychology and Religious Studies and is a minor in Philosophy. Her interests include situation and applied ethics, moral psychology, and liberation theology. She plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology after graduating from the UO. She enjoys reading the existentialists, hiking, spending time with friends and family, writing fiction, baking vegan desserts… and indulging in the consumption.




Lab Alumni

Stephanie Kramer Stephanie graduated in 2016 and studied how developmental, cultural and contextual influences affect religiosity and moral decision making. She also studied religious and other ideological groups as coalitions. As of 2016, Stephanie has been working at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC.




Zhen Cheng

Cheng ProfileZhen defended her dissertation in 2017 and is completing her predoctoral clinical internship at the Minneapolis VA Heath Care System. Her research examines how experiences of bias, stereotypes, and stigma contribute to mental health and educational disparities, and how cultural factors such as ethnicity and spirituality/religion affect academic achievement and mental health outcomes. She is interested in developing culturally informed interventions to increase participation in science and mental health treatment.


Zhuo “Job” Chen

Zhuo “Job” Chen graduated in 2016. He is now an assistant professor at Clemson University. He was trained in humanities and philosophy at Wuhan University of China, and in psychology at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. His research focus has been in psychology of religion and spirituality, mysticism, culture and ideology, and the self. He has expertise and interest in quantitative and qualitative methodology, and welcomes research collaboration both intra- and inter-disciplinary. Job speaks Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese as a native. He is a Christian.


Ezra Markowitz

Ezra completed his dissertation with Sara Hodges and Azim in 2012. After two postdocs at Columbia and Princeton Universities, he took a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.






Joe Hoover

Joe completed his master’s degree with Azim in 2015. He is now pursuing his PhD with Morteza Dehghani and Jesse Graham at the University of Southern California.





Carissa Sharp

Carissa completed her postdoc with Azim in 2014. She is now a research fellow at Newman University in the UK, working primarily with the “Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum” Research Group.






Thomas Pettus-Czar

Thomas was our lab manager from 2010 to 2011. He now co-owns and runs downtown Eugene’s hottest coffeeshop/bar, The Barn Light, with a second location opening this summer.





Bethany Lassetter

Bethany was our lab manager from 2012 to 2014 or thereabouts. She is now pursuing a PhD in social psychology with Rebecca Neel at the University of Iowa.






Cassie Brandes

Cassie earned her B.S. in Psychology and Religious Studies from the University of Oregon, and was an RA, honors student and eventually lab manager in the CaML (as well as the Social Psychoneuroendocrinology Lab).  She is interested in the intersection of social, biological, and clinical variables, and as of Fall 2016, has started her PhD with Jennifer Tackett at Northwestern University. Cassie enjoys culinary pursuits, comedy, Freddie Mercury, Keanu Reeves, and music from the golden age of the 1990s.