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About

“Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake.”  William James

I am a social psychologist particularly interested in emotions (like gratitude) and how we regulate them (for instance, by being mindful).   My work is at the interface of social psychology with clinical psychology, and I routinely supervise the work of clinical psychology doctoral students.  I will blog broadly about social psychology, with an emphasis on emotions and emotion regulation.

I did my undergraduate work at Northwestern, beginning in economics and finding psychology (and mathematical methods in the social sciences) later.  I then went on to Stanford for my doctoral work and Wisconsin for postdoctoral studies.  I have been on the faculty at American University since 1987.  My full cv is available at my AU homepage: http://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/ahrens.cfm

I have been exceptionally fortunate in my teachers and the many factors that allowed me to be exposed to those teachers.  My introductory course happened to be Jenny Crocker’s first offering as a professor.  Then I also took Lauren Alloy’s first course.  I worked in Lauren’s lab as an undergraduate (studying depression) and then also in Bob Sekuler’s lab ( studying human vision).  In graduate school my dissertation advisor was David Rosenhan.  I had the opportunity to learn from Toni Zeiss, Phoebe Ellsworth, Albert Bandura, Walter Mischel, Lee Ross, Mark Lepper, Amos Tversky, Phil Zimbardo, Merrill Carlsmith, Gordon Bower and so many others. My postdoctoral work was with Lyn Abramson and I had the good luck to learn much also from Trish Devine and Arie Kruglanski.  I have also been fortunate in my colleagues, schoolmates and students.  I write this blog in part to share the voice shaped by these teachers, students, and friends.  And perhaps to help some folks move from being only half-awake to just a bit more.

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