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.
Erin Smith received her B.S. in Psychology from William & Mary, graduating in 2018 on the pre-med track. Exploring both MD and PhD routes, she is currently Happy-Tech Lab's Research Manager. In this role, she designs surveys and research materials, organizes funding opportunities, composes IRB and grant proposals, and investigates current literature concerning technology and well-being. Expanding on her interests in social psychology and applied research, Erin also works as a consultant for University of Virginia's Motivate Lab. With this research team, she collaborates with teachers, school systems, and government agencies to strengthen the learning mindsets of at-risk and underrepresented students.
A recent graduate from Georgetown University, Christian continues his work with the Happy Tech Team as Dr. Kushlev’s Lab Manager. Coordinating research studies, facilitating team meetings, and organizing the expenses of such a high-caliber lab, Christian’s talents in communication and organization make him a strong team member. His passions lie at the intersection of clinical and cultural psychology, and he looks forward to pursuing his Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Robert is from Marietta, GA and is currently a senior Healthcare Management and Policy major at the School of Nursing & Health Studies. During his time at Georgetown, Robert has worked on a wide range of research engagements. Recently, he has been researching Medicaid accountable care organization programs under the 1115 waiver; and, in psychology, the relationship between subjective well-being and health behaviors. Robert’s professional experience includes internships at ICF, WellCare and Medicaid Health Plans of America. Robert currently works at the Institute for Medicaid Innovation, where he concentrates on best practices in high-risk care coordination. After graduation, he will be joining Accenture as a Consulting Analyst.
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.
Dasoo Milton Yoon
A senior in the College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education, Inquiry, and Justice, Miltoon was born in Evanston, Illinois, but was raised in Seoul and London before returning back to the US for his college education. After participating in Professor Kushlev's Social Psychology course, he wanted to get involved the Happy Tech Lab. He is particularly interested in the psychological influences of close relationships. Post graduation, he is looking to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology in order to either go into academia or practice psychology.
Narisa is a senior from Bangkok, Thailand majoring in Psychology and English. She is particularly interested in social and cultural psychology. As she hopes to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, she joined the Happy Tech Lab to learn more about how the internet influences our well-being, as well as how we can take advantage of computers and smartphones in ways that improve both our mental and physical health. In addition to Dr. Kushlev's lab, Narisa also assists with research in Dr. Parrott's Human Emotions Lab and Dr. Barr's Early Learning Project.