top of page

Our Team

Lab Director

image (1).png

Emily Balcetis, PhD

Over the last 20 years, Emily has become one of the most sought-after voices on motivation science, researching the factors that contribute to differences in judgments and behaviors among individuals. She delivers lectures, offers training and keynoting hundreds of programs and events at secondary schools, colleges, universities, community organizations, and corporations on the social, cognitive, and motivational mechanisms that lead impact obstacles and successes as people pursue their goals. She is also a frequent commentator on media, blogs, and podcasts, delivering a voice filled with knowledge and respect for the varied challenges people face.

View Emily's CV here

Communications Director

Genna Goins

Genna is a recent graduate of NYU where she double majored in trumpet performance and psychology at NYU. She joined the SPAM Lab in spring 2022 and has since discovered interests in learning about diversity in leadership and the influences it has on young people as well as understanding the prevalence of gender disparities in society. Amongst others, Genna has been a part of the team responsible for collecting data analyzing how jurors may view video evidence in a court setting. As the lab's communications manager, maintaining its website and creating its newsletters are major parts of Genna's responsibilities. During her free time, Genna can be found crafting, attending Broadway shows, and trying different pizzas throughout New York City.


Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow

Jordan S. Daley, PhD

Jordan received his PhD in social psychology from Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Social Cognition Lab. Jordan joins the SPAM Lab as a provost's postdoctoral fellow as of fall 2023. He studies biases related to and at the intersection of social cognition, social attitudes, person-person, and intergroup relations. He uses innovative methods to go beyond the identification of bias to reveal the constructs that relate to and the mechanisms that drive psychological biases that are relevant to real-world, lived experience. In his free time, Jordan spends a lot of time following sports, listening to the latest music, and hanging out with his friends, family, and dog.

View Jordan's CV here

Graduate Students

Nallely De La Rosa

PhD Candidate

Nallely received her B.A. in child and adolescent development - applied developmental science from California State University Northridge in 2023. During her time as an undergraduate, she conducted research as a NIH BUILD PODER Scholar in Dr. Debbie Ma’s SIP Lab and Dr. Rika Meyer’s CATCH Lab. Following her previous work on mental health equity, Latinx and multiracial face perception, and group categorization, Nallely’s research interests broadly include stereotyping, prejudice, perception, groups, and diversity. Looking ahead to her work in the SPAM Lab, Nallely is interested in exploring how our perceptions of ourselves and others impacts our interactions and decisions.

View Nallely's CV here

Jenna is a first-year doctoral candidate in the social psychology program at NYU. She received her B.S. in human development (Department of Psychology) from Cornell University. Jenna is interested in how we generate inferences about others’ intentions by observing their behavior, and how these inferences are biased by our motivations, expectations, social relationships, and obligations. She is interested in how these inferences translate to judgment and action in domains including law, social justice, decision theory, and organizational behavior. In her spare time, you might find Jenna figure skating at an ice rink, watching stand-up at a comedy club, or searching for the best cannoli in NYC.

View Jenna's CV here

Jenna Landy

 PhD Candidate

Ma Xiao

PhD Candidate

Ma Xiao (Ma-sh-iao) is a second-year doctoral student in the social psychology program at NYU. In 2019 received his BA in psychology and statistics from Carleton College in Minnesota. After graduation, he conducted clinical research as a post-graduate associate at Yale Psychiatry, OCD Research Clinic. His research interests focus on how factors affecting motivation and self-control processes across construal levels. He also wants to investigate motivational research in interpersonal settings to help facilitate growth and bridge performance gaps in minority students. For example, what factors change perception of “leaders” and “the successful” in minority students?

View Ma Xiao's CV here


Ke (Kay) Fang

Masters Student

Kay is a master's candidate at NYU Gallatin. His research aims to understand how complex social dynamics like political polarization, normative shifts, and collective action emerge from individual-level motivational and cognitive factors. Utilizing micro-level computational cognition paired with macro-level network science, agent-based modeling, and Natural Language Processing, he is especially interested in enhancing social psychology by integrating a multilevel perspective and computational approaches. Outside of research, he savors the ritual of brewing pour-over coffee, exploring museums in NYC, and occasionally drawing.

More information on Kay's work and his CV can be found here

Heather Li

Masters Student

Heather is currently pursuing a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology at NYU. Broadly, Heather is interested in exploring the impact of gender and race stereotypes on leadership perceptions. When not in the lab, she enjoys watching Japanese anime and playing bridge games with a robot, as she has been unable to find a human teammate.

Thy Nguyen

Masters Student

Thy Nguyen is pursuing an MA in general psychology at NYU. She is eager to gain research experience in cognitive psychology. Her research interests revolve around cognitive assessments, such as IQ, how cognitive ability affects academic performance and success, and ways to improve that performance.

View Thy's CV here

Nalanda Ray

Masters Student

Nalanda is a master’s student in the psychology program at NYU. She is broadly interested in the sociocultural and motivational underpinnings of person perception and biases in judgment and decision-making. As a research assistant and project lead at the SPAM Lab, she is studying the influence of cultural orientations on risk assessment and decision-making in cybersecurity. In her free time, you may find her reading books or probing into data viz codes.

Gracielle Resurreccion

Masters Student

Gracielle is currently pursuing a master's degree in psychology at NYU. She received her BS in 2020 from Old Dominion University, where she majored in biology and minored in psychology. Her research interests are in clinical psychology, neuropsychology, and social psychology. Currently, she focuses her research on impacts of gender and racial disparities on perceived leadership. In the future, Gracielle plans to pursue a doctorate degree in psychology and incorporate her work in the SPAM Lab to her future research and clinical psychology practice.

View Gracielle's CV here

Sophia Rougraff

Masters Student

Sophia is a second-year master’s student at NYU on the forensic psychology track. Sophia's research interests are broadly focused on clinical and forensic psychology, with her thesis specifically looking at successful psychopathy in police. (Note: This is not a project of the SPAM Lab or Dr. Balcetis). Sophia received a BS in psychology and BA in criminology with a minor in sociology from the University of Florida in 2022. Outside of the lab, she enjoys cooking, watching true crime documentaries, and playing ping pong.

Research Assistants

Yaa Afriyie

Brittney Anderson

Elizabeth Baker

Diya Basu

Tianyi Chen

Armon Dadvand

Gabby Fabela

Genna Goins

Mike Guerrero

Ainsley Hoh

Cat Howard

Bryce Lexow

Hannah Maria

Anya Pabby

Ryan Pan

Abi Rivera

Michelle Stern

Weiwei Tan

Yuming Tan

June Van De Graff

Diya Varma

Susanah Vosmik

Julia Yi

Lab Alumni

Abby Bisi, Engagement Manager at Prophet

David Bosch, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology, MA Program Coordinator at New York University

Stephanie Cardenas, Assistant Professor at Williams College

Shana Cole, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University

Jennifer Elek, Principal Court Research Associate at the National Center for State Courts

Yael Granot, Assistant Professor at Smith College

Corey Guenther, Associate Professor at Creighton University

Erin Hennes, Assistant Professor at University of Missouri

Clint Irvin, Data Scientist at Synovus

Kristyn Jones, UX Researcher at WhatsApp

David Kalkstein, Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford

Madelaine Krehm, UX Researcher at Google

Amy Krosch, Assistant Professor at Cornell University

Jeff Kukucka, Associate Professor at Townson University 

Usman Liaquat, Post-Doctoral Fellow at New York University

Saaid Mendoza, Associate Professor at Providence College

Jennie Qu-Lee, Quantitative User Experience Researcher at Google

Soyon Rim, Associate Professor at William Paterson College

Jojanneke van der Toorn, Professor at Leiden University

Website Design

Genna Goins

Armon Dadvand

Rebekah Zhang, SPAM Lab Logo Design

bottom of page