In 2011, APS published a series of “Rising Star” interviews, including several of scholars who are Situationist Contributors or good friends of blog. We will highlight some of those interviews in weeks ahead. Here is the interview of Situationist friend, Dana Carney.
What does your research focus on?
I am interested in the incredible power of tiny, ordinary, nonverbal cues.
What drew you to this line of research? Why is it exciting to you?
I was drawn to this research because of how diagnostic these cues can be when trying to make inferences about others’ mental states.
Who were/are your mentors or psychological influences?
I have had so many incredible mentors and I have been influenced by so many wonderful minds — I could fill all of these pages with the names. My very first mentor was Maureen O’Sullvan. Maureen died last year. She has an incredibly special place in my heart and in my mind.
To what do you attribute your success in the science?
I do not consider myself to be successful but hard work and many hours of practice are the most powerful tools we have if we want to become good at something.
What’s your future research agenda?
I am working with my students Andy Yap and Abbie Wazlawek and my former student who is now at Kellogg, Brian Lucas, on some of the powerful ways in which ordinary, everyday, nonverbal behaviors can exert extraordinary impact on thoughts, feelings, and choice.
Any advice for even younger psychological scientists? What would you tell someone just now entering graduate school or getting their PhD?
What you study is an expression of who you are. Leading a life of science is much more akin to being an artist than anything else. It is a part of you, it comes everywhere with you, you see the world only through its lens, it pervades every aspect of who you are and how you think.
What publication you are most proud of or feel has been most important to your career?
I do not generally feel proud of my work but I like some of my papers more than I like others. A recent paper with my very close, dear colleague, Amy Cuddy and my wonderful student Andy Yap is one I like.
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