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

Azim Shariff

Untitled 2Azim Shariff is Assistant 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 first 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.





Colton Christian (Affiliated)

Colton Christian is a doctoral student interested in interpersonal perception. Colton is currently studying how power produces a number of functional biases related to the perception of anger. More specifically, he’s interested in whether powerful people (or people primed with power) are more likely to infer that someone else is expressing anger compared to powerless people (or people who aren’t primed with power).



Brian Clark (Affiliated)

Brian is a third year doctoral student broadly interested in all things relevant to morality. Brian is currently studying hypocrisy, with a particular focus on morally-relevant issues therein, from two angles: 1) understanding how and why adhering to moral intuitions, personal beliefs, and expressed attitudes conflicts with self-interest and other moral intuitions (basically, what makes people hypocrites) and 2) understanding how and why people attribute hypocrisy as an explanation of others’ behavior (basically, what makes people call other people hypocrites).

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Devin Howington (Affiliated)

Devin Howington is a graduate student in psychology at the University of Oregon. She hails from Arkansas.





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Erik Knight (Affiliated)

Erik earned his BS in Psychology and BA in Chemistry from the Ohio State University. Prior to attending UO, he worked for John Cacioppo and Louise Hawkley as a Research Project Manager at the Social Neuroscience Lab at the University of Chicago. He is primarily interested in the biopsychological effects of stability in social hierarchies as well as the consequences of status and power for stress, immunity, and health.




Will Moore (Affiliated)

Will is a third year doctoral student primarily interested in the development of social influences on value computation. Central to this work is  a focus on combining approaches from several different levels of analysis in order to robustly explore the neuroscience of social cognition.  Additional interests include neuroeconomics, moral decision making, anarchogenetics, tail-having things, dissent, borders, chaos, almonds, islands, chambers, neurds, boxen, cyborg discourse, lumping, splitting, and opening sources.

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Joe Rodini (Affiliated)

Joe is a second year doctoral student primarily working in the developmental area. In addition to interests in theory of mind and perspective taking, he is also curious about how human minds utilize beliefs and values to create and maintain worldviews in various domains, including the moral and the spiritual.





Lab Manager


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


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.