Principal Investigator:C1655D1D-689E-46A4-8322-95938A3494E0-1570-000001132AA12591

Jennifer Stellar is an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD in Social-Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Curriculum Vitae

Department Website

Social Personality Research Group Website

Post-doctoral Students


HEAL would like to welcome Fred Duong who will be joining HEAL as a Post-doctoral student. He is currently finishing his PhD at Northeastern University with David DeSteno and Judith Hall. His work centers on moral emotions, decision-making, and behavior. In one line of work, he investigates how emotions influence prosociality and has found, for example, that gratitude increases honest behavior, third-party punishment, and the impartial beneficence dimension of utilitarianism. In another line of work, he researches the lay conceptions of empathy, finding meaningful individual and social group variation, and is currently investigating correlates and downstream consequences.

Graduate Students

Applications to pursue a PhD are now closed, but will reopen in December 2021 for the 2022-2023 academic year. If you are interested in earning your PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, click here for more information.

Primary Students


Rachel Forbes is a Ph.D student in Social/ Personality Psychology. Her primary research interests focus on morality, specifically individuals’ perceptions of others’ unethical behaviour. She is interested in how moral outrage is influenced by social relational factors like power or closeness. She also investigates whether and how individuals can be seen as redeemed after acting unethically.


Yachen Li is a Ph.D student in Social/ Personality Psychology. She is interested in how emotions interact with rational cognitive processes. More specifically, her interests focus on self-transcendent emotions (i.e. awe, elevation) – their physiological correlates, and their effect on social cognition and decision-making. In a related line a research, she is interested in how people update their judgment of other people’s moral characters in light of mixed positive and negative moral information.


Jaweria Qaiser is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology. Her primary research interests focus on what compels individuals to cooperate and coordinate at the dyadic and group levels, factors influencing such coordination, and how such coordination, or lack thereof, influences wellbeing. She is especially interested in the role of prosocial emotions and its physiological underpinnings. Her past work has investigated physiological sharing at the dyadic level during compassionate contexts.

Affiliated Students


Nathan Leonhardt is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology. His primary research interests focus on long-term romantic relationships. More specifically, he is interested in the role of self-transcendent emotions in romantic relationships. He is currently investigating the physiological correlates of romantic partners’ reported emotions during a compassion induction conversation.

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Arasteh Gatchpazian is a Ph.D student in Social/Personality Psychology. Her primary research interests focus on the lay theories people form and maintain about emotions. More specifically, she is interested in the role of emotion beliefs in shaping the decision-making process. Arasteh is currently investigating how experiencing simultaneous emotions (e.g., compassion and anger) can modify the experience of one another and subsequently influence behaviour.

Undergraduate Students

HEAL is currently full, but please check back in December/January to see if new research assistant positions are available for the winter term.

Lab Manager
Nikita Shankar

Research Assistants
Surbhi Gupta
Sarah Kahn
Steven Lin
Dalal Mahir
Harsukh Sidhu
Abirami Suthan
Alina Torres

Lab Activities

Collecting Data at Chelsea Handler’s event (in December!!!)


Collecting data at Michelle Obama’s event to study awe