Senior Behavioral Scientist, Professor of Psychology
Contact InformationOffice: VPD 307C
Phone: (213) 821-1781
Biographical SketchPrior to joining USC, for 35 years I worked at Stony Brook University in New York, and left as Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology. In January 2014 I was appointed a Professor of Psychology and director of the newly-formed USC Dornsife Center for Self-Report Science.
By way of history, my early work was concerned with improving the measurement of life events, stress, and coping with the goal of understanding how they impact susceptibility to somatic illnesses. These studies led to an interest in psychobiology with a particular emphasis on how stressful events affect endocrine and immune function. During those years I was also interested in how people self-report information about their psychological, emotional, and symptom states. This led to the development of various kinds of daily diaries that measured end-of-day and within-day phenomena, which ultimately yielded a set of techniques known as Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA).
More recently, I have been involved with the development of alternative methods for capturing the ebb and flow of daily experience – ones that may be especially appropriate for large-scale surveys -- including the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM), a questionnaire that captures daily time use and experiential data. I have also been a developer of self-report symptom questionnaires for use in clinical trials, as part of the PROMIS consortium of the National Institutes of Health. Understanding subjective wellbeing is an ongoing research topic of my group and we work with national and international organizations to promote and improve wellbeing assessment.