Lab Members

Lab Director


Dr. Lara Aknin

Hello! I’m Lara Aknin, an assistant professor of Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University and scholar at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. My research interests lie at the intersection of social psychology, positive psychology, economics and judgement and decision making. My research questions often include the study of what makes people happy, the emotional consequences of kind or generous behavior, and the well-being outcomes of specific spending choices. Most of the research I have conducted thus far examines people’s perceptions of the money and happiness relationship and whether people reap greater happiness from spending money on others (i.e. prosocial spending) than when spending the same amount of money on themselves.

Lab Manager

IMG_0286Shawna Campbell

I am currently completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a minor in Counselling and Human Development. My academic interests include developmental psychology and psychopathology, social psychology, and abnormal psychology.

Graduate Students

710Dylan Wiwad

I am a fifth year PhD student in Dr. Aknin’s lab. I completed my MA here at Simon Fraser University, on the emotional consequences of perceptions of high income mobility. Primarily, my research centers around perceptions of economic inequality and their downstream consequences. Currently I am working on a number of projects exploring ways to reduce tolerance for economic inequality. On top of my current research I am broadly interested in various aspects of social psychology and research methods; specifically income mobility, morality, psychometrics, and statistics.

673Kate Hannibal

I am a third year Masters Student with Dr. Lara Aknin. I completed my Bachelors at University of Puget Sound in Washington State. Much of my research centers around the emotional benefits of prosocial and altruistic action. The central focus of many of my current studies is to determine whether the emotional benefits of prosocial behavior and generous spending represent a psychological functional universal within our species. Currently, my primary line of research seeks to determine whether the emotional rewards of prosocial behavior are detectable in criminal, antisocial, and psychopathic populations. My broad research interests include forensic psychology, prosocial and altruistic behavior, judgment and decision making, and psychopathy.

Research Assistants

Jayna Bhindi

I’m completing my BA (Hons.) in Psychology, with a minor in Counselling and Human Development. Currently, I’m working with Dr. Lara Aknin and my honours thesis explores the impact of school-based philanthropy programs, which empower young children to do kind or generous things for others, on well-being, peer relations, and sense of social responsibility. In addition, I’m also interested in other aspects of social psychology, including motivations and outcomes for prosocial behaviour. After graduation, I plan to take some time off to gain work and travelling experience and then I intend to pursue my Master’s in either Experimental Psychology or Counselling Psychology. During my spare time, I enjoy catching up with friends, reading a good book, and exploring local gems in the city.

Michelle Hui

I have completed my Bachelor degree at Simon Fraser University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Counselling and Human Development. I have great passion in exploring human emotions, relationships, and well-beings. Apart from that, I have a strong belief in the power of music and art, through which they allow healing and enhance wellness. After graduation, I intend to volunteer in rural countries and to pursue my Master in Social Work or Art Therapy. Ultimately, I wish to spread happiness to everyone, especially those in distress. Outside of school, I enjoy painting, playing drums, and hiking.

Julie Kim

I am a 4th year psychology student at SFU pursuing a major in psychology. I am very interested in social psychology and I am planning to continue my studies after finishing my undergraduate degree. In my spare time I like to listen to music and hang out with my 5 cats.

Max Puddicombe

John Tolentino

I have completed my Bachelor degree at Simon Fraser University with a major in Psychology and a minor in Counselling and Human Development. My previous volunteer experiences have brought me to places such as Vicente Guerrero, Mexico where I worked at an orphanage, as well as Whitehorse, Yukon where I informally counselled aboriginal preteens. In the past, I was also employed at the Vancouver School Board to work with vulnerable, at risk children in East Vancouver. It is because of these personal encounters that my academic interests are situated in understanding how prosocial behaviours and altruism impact the social, emotional wellbeing of a human. Moreover, how it can teach one to engage in psychological resilience and emotion regulation.

Caileigh Wilson

I am a fourth year student majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counselling and Human Development. I have worked with aboriginal youth on the downtown east side of Vancouver for approximately 2 years and in doing so I have become very interested in research that includes peer-relationships, well-being, trauma, developmental and behaviour disorders. I am working towards getting accepted into grad school for a masters in Counselling Psychology to continue my work with vulnerable populations in a helping capacity. Outside of school I am an avid photographer, traveler, boxer and surfer.

IMG_0244Tiffany Woods

I am a 5th year student majoring in psychology and doing a double minor in gerontology and counseling and human development. I love spending time with young children and I am a magnet for older adults to talk to. I am aiming to become a social worker or a counselor in the future. Outside of school, I am working towards crossing off Major League Baseball Stadiums from my “See the Blue Jays in every MLB stadium” bucket-list. I also enjoy hiking, skiing and zumba.

Jacqueline Yip

I am a 4th year student majoring in psychology and minoring in education. My research interests are social psychology, including intergroup relationship and prosocial behavior. I am also interested in abnormal psychology. In the future, I intend to pursue my Master’s in either social psychology or clinical psychology. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering in different events/programs and child-related work, such as Daycare.


IMG_0255Marjan Beikzadeh

I am Psychology major and Counselling and Human Development minor at SFU. My interests are in developmental psychopathology and abnormal psychology, mainly in mood, anxiety and personality disorders. What interests me the most are the issues people face around the world in terms of their mental health, but more specifically how those issues affect the way in which they interact with others and the world. As a result, my passion is to work in a field where I can use my skills to help people work through their challenges and guide them in the direction they want to go.

Monique Austria
Ken Clinton
Tasha Dong
Ravina Gill
George Guo

Armaghan Aliabadi
Victoria Heffelfinger

IMG_0323Jessamyn Hung
Simran Kaur

IMG_0252Linda Magyari

IMG_0288Jason Roh

Puneet Sekhon

IMG_0294Shaira Thobani

Emily Thornton


Honorary Lab Member


Lab Alumni

Lab Managers
Darek Cole
Alice Fleerackers
Lisa Godfrey
KB Zaidi

Honours Students
Ryan Carlson

Research Assistants
Manahil Ahmed
Holly Armstrong
Patricia Bhardwaj
Kate Bousfield
Chantal Broughton
Ryan Carlson
Pawan Chahal
Elizabeth Chan
Evelyn Chen
Nickie Christie
Jason Chung
Laura Cummings
Jenna Dales
Dorianna Dickson
Taylor Doberstein
Shawn Feng
Mario Ferrari
Tess Gregory
Ethan Hait
Felix Hsieh
Chelsea Jonathan
Melissa Koay
Daniella Kullman
Nyssa Lessingham
Shannon Martin
Bronwyn McBride
Lauren McRae
Zahra Mohamud
Manal Masud
Alyssa Murducco
Mina Myong
Laila Namur
Kimia Nassehi
Ewa Naylor
Sebastian Oreamuno
Courtney Parolin
Natasha Pusch
Samatha Robinson
Raman Samara
Lindsay Samson
Parmeen Sohal
Kyle Stewart
Mirko Suzara
Jordan Tome
Rebecca Trahey
Maitland Waddell
Esther Wei
Michael Wickham
Sheri Wong
Min Je Woo
Kristen Yang