Psychology of Environmental Issues
Moral Evaluation and Social Cognition Research Lab

Colleen F. Moore, Professor, Psychology Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison
      These research groups meet together weekly. The members have overlapping interests in environmental issues, ethical issues and moral development, values, and people's evaluations of events and emotional reactions to them.
      All three of my current graduate students are working on topics connected in some way to environmental issues or moral evaluations, though their approaches are quite different.
A Little About Who We Are  
      Sean Shiverick's dissertation is examining developmental changes in children's understanding of how desires, beliefs and intentions affect the emotions of both wrongdoers who violate moral norms to achieve their aims as well as the victims of sociomoral transgressions. Sean is interested in how children use mental state knowledge to interpret actions and evaluate behavior. Thus, his work focuses on the connections between theory of mind and their sociomoral development. Sean has published his work in the journals Child Development and Cognitive Development, and has presented papers at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), and the Cognitive Development Society (CDS). He has been a teaching assistant for Introduction to Statistics (Psychology 210), Experimental Psychology (Psychology 225) and Introductory Psychology (Psych 202).  On the personal side, Sean has a degree in philosophy and has studied painting and art history. Before coming to Wisconsin, Sean completed a 10-day vipassana meditation retreat. Currently Sean enjoys hiking, canoeing and camping with his wife Bazile. Bazile and Sean are both committed to using alternative sources of energy, and are members of the community biodiesel cooperative.

     Katy Kortenkamp's research is on judgment and decision making with an emphasis on environmental issues. She is especially interested in how uncertainty affects judgments and decisions about environmental issues. She enjoys fitting complex quantitative models to any kind of data. Her first year research project on how uncertainty affects willingness to give up resources in a social dilemma was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.  She also has a publication in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, and other publications in refereed journals on social policy issues from her work with The Urban Institute in Washington D.C. She has presented papers at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Midwestern Psychological Association, and the Society for Research in Child Development. She has been a TA for Psychology 225, 210, 280, and 610. On the personal side, Katy enjoys running, and has completed several marathons. She played the saxophone in high school, and spends time with some of her nieces and nephews.

     Heather Priess entered the graduate program in the Psychology Department in Fall 2005. She has interests in gender differences, the development of moral evaluations, and quantitative modeling. She has a Masters degree from UW-Madison's Lafollette School of Public Affairs. Most recently she was working at Iowa State University as the campus police department's sexual assault educator and statistician. She has been a TA for Psychology 210 and 225 (Introductory Statistics and Experimental Psychology).  She enjoys fitting complex quantitative models to any kind of data. Heather enjoys working in the vineyards and winery owned by her boyfriend's family in Iowa. She has a great sense of humor. She began working with Prof. Hyde on gender issues in the Spring semester of 2007.

      Andrew Garfield's research is on the roles of spirituality in psychological functioning, including  how spiritual maturity affects evaluations of environmental inequities. Andrew previously worked with Prof. Carol Ryff on spirituality and personal well-being, and has been on leave from the Psychology Department. Andrew has been a TA for Psychology 210, and he has been a lecturer for Introductory Psychology at UW Center Rock County. On the personal side, Andrew has interests in meditation, alternative healing, sports, and is a fluent speaker and reader of Japanese.

      Other students currently affiliated with our lab group include Kelly Rentscher, Blenda Chiu, and Alison Reynolds who are all developing their senior thesis projects, and have applied for a Hilldale award. Josh Kalscheur is deciding whether to do a senior thesis, and Karen Edquist is about to graduate.  Recent graduates from our lab include Amy Krosch, Dec. 2005, who won a Hilldale Fellowship and completed an Honors Thesis on how social oppressions are perceived and factored into evaluations of situations that involve either 'taboo' or 'tragic' trade-offs. Amy is enjoying living in New York City while she decides  where to go to graduate school. Emily Hill graduated in May 2005, and spent the summer in Wyoming as an environmental education intern. Emily is hoping to pursue graduate work in Environmental Studies.

      The mentor of this group, Prof. Colleen Moore, has been a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin since 1978. Her research interests over the years have included moral development, the development of children's attributions in achievement settings, environmental decision making, and the effects of prenatal alcohol on the development of rhesus monkeys. She is the author of the book Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree (2003). She currently holds a Vilas Associate award from the University of Wisconsin for her research on psychological aspects of environmental inequities. At the undergraduate level, she teaches writing intensive topics courses (Psychology 411) on Psychology of Environmental Issues and on Psychology of Religion. Her recent graduate courses include Psychology of Risk, Core Issues in Developmental Psychology, and Psychology 610, Design and Analysis of Psychological Experiments. Colleen has been Chair of the Developmental Area Group in the Psychology Department, and is also the Associate Chair of the Department and the Director of Graduate Studies. On the personal side, Colleen swims, plays clarinet, hikes and fishes in the wilderness and is a nature photographer. She enjoys dining with her graduate students.

   Last updated December, 2006