The “Happy Tech” Team
The Digital Health and Happiness Lab (or Happy Tech Lab) is lead by Dr. Kostadin Kushlev at Georgetown’s Department of Psychology. Lying at the intersection between digital technology, happiness, and health, the research in The DHH Lab is designed to answer basic scientific questions about the role of digital technology in health and well-being with both theoretical and applied implications. Methodologically, our research aims to elucidate psychological processes as they occur in the field and people’s regular daily lives, thus relying heavily on monitoring behavior and health in real time and relying on large survey data and Big Data analysis, while employing advanced statistical approaches such as machine learning and multilevel modeling. Researchers in the lab also aim to develop interventions to increase happiness and improve health through targeted modifications to people’s digital behavior. Through these statistical and experimental approaches, the lab thus aims to elucidate the psychological processes behind human health, happiness, and flourishing in the modern digitized human environment. Below you can find some of the incredible students and graduates involved with the ongoing work of the lab!
Matthew is a first year Ph.D student studying under Dr. Kushlev in the Human Development and Public Policy Ph.D. program. He hails from sunny Southern California, and has extensive previous research experience in health and social psychology. His interests lie at the convergence of social psychology and technology, and he intends to investigate the social perception of technology and how such perceptions affect human activity as well as how social relationships are mediated through technology. His goal after obtaining his Ph.D. is to continue working in academia, researching people’s relationships with and through technology to help develop devices that better complement our lives.
Amanda Van Orden
A junior in the college at Georgetown University, Amanda has recently joined the team as Dr. Kushlev’s Lab Manager. In this role she maintains the lab website, manages administration, prepares research materials, edits research manuscripts, and organizes the expenses of such a high-caliber lab. Majoring in Psychology and minoring in Journalism, Amanda is able to bring her organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills to the lab. Amanda hopes to attend graduate school to work in Industrial-Organizational Psychology or pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Angie is a senior undergraduate at Georgetown University majoring in psychology and French. She is working under Dr. Kushlev to create an honors research thesis, for which she will explore the psychosocial roots of happiness in college students. Angie’s passion is implementing well-being research and psychological techniques where they are not often considered, such as in college social culture or in the workplace. Angie intends to work in emotional intelligence after graduation, before returning to graduate school to pursue a P.hD. in Positive Organizational Psychology.
Maureen is from Wilmington, Delaware and is currently a junior in the College at Georgetown University. She is majoring in psychology and double minoring in music and art, and she recently joined Dr. Kushlev’s Happy Tech Lab team as a research assistant. With a strong interest in mental health and well-being, Maureen is excited to assist Dr. Kushlev in studying our relationships with technology in today’s world. After graduation, Maureen hopes to continue to pursue psychology and apply it in ways that help people to live happier, healthier lives.
I come from Zagreb, Croatia, and I moved to the U.S. in July 2014 to pursue a college education. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology from the University of Virginia in December 2018. I wish to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology, most likely focusing on well-being. My ideal job would be working as a university professor.