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Population Center Researchers and Postdoctoral Scholars

In the 2011-2012 year there are a number of postdoctoral scholars and other researchers on campus affiliated with the Berkeley Population Center and are active in pursuing population-based research and presenting their research to audiences at UC Berkeley and elsewhere. These are:

Dan Acland
Ayala Arad
Claudia Haase
Sandra McCoy
Mark Pachucki
Jeffrey Spielberg


Dan Acland is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Public Policy. His interests span behavioral economic theory and policy analysis. Past research includes field-experimental tests of economic models of habit formation, self control, and subjects ability to predict their future tastes and choices. Current research interests are in the behavioral-economic dimensions of cost-benefit analysis.

Ayala Arad is a postdoctoral fellow at the UC Berkeley Experimental Social Science Laboratory (Xlab) and a recipient of the Rothschild Fellowship for postdoctoral studies. She received her Ph.D. in economics at Tel-Aviv University in 2011. Her research involves identifying systematic deviations from the classic economic model of the rational man through experiments and using the findings to construct new models of behavior. She is interested in both strategic reasoning and individual decision-making processes. In particular, she studies iterative reasoning, the history-dependence of preferences, how individuals make decisions under uncertainty and the way in which available information is used in such situations. Understanding the psychological tendencies that arise in different contexts may help in identifying mechanisms for behavior change.

Claudia Haase is a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley working with Robert W. Levenson at the Institute of Personality and Social Research. She is interested in successful development across the life span. She has examined a broad range of predictors of successful development ranging from the macro-level (i.e., social change) to individual-level processes (i.e., emotion, motivation, and behavior) to the molecular (i.e., genetic polymorphisms). Moreover, she has studied a comprehensive range of outcomes of successful development ranging from well-being and health to career success and marital satisfaction. A central assumption guiding her work is that the range of motivational, emotional, behavioral, and genetic factors that promote successful development may be wider than we think. What may be harmful in one context may be beneficial in another.

Sandra McCoy is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health. Her work focuses on the prevention and control of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, women's economic empowerment, multi-sectoral approaches to health and impact evaluation and implementation science.

Mark Pachucki is a sociologist whose work seeks to specify how health and health behaviors (such as eating and exercise) and our relationships with others shape one another. To address this, his research focuses on the networks of relationships that organize society and the meanings that individuals attribute to the world around them. Mark received a BA in Sociology from Columbia University and his PhD in Sociology from Harvard University. He is currently appointed as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar jointly at UCSF and UC Berkeley, and his research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Science Foundation. His interest in the BCRN.s efforts stem from an awareness that though we know a great deal about social networks and health behaviors among adults, our understanding of how social connectedness affects health at earlier stages of human development are more limited.

Jeffrey M. Spielberg: Jeffrey Spielberg is a postdoctoral fellow working with Ron Dahl in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. He recently completed his degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the neural mechanisms involved in goal pursuit, particularly those related to motivation, attention, and executive function. He is interested in how dysfunction in these processes contributes to the etiology and maintenance of anxiety and depression. He is currently integrating aspects of development into his research with a focus on how developmental changes in the interplay between motivation and attentional/executive processes contribute to the increased risk for anxiety and depression observed in adolescence. The ultimate goal of his research is to develop treatment and prevention efforts for depression and anxiety that address deficits in the ability to successfully pursue goals or risk factors that may lead to such deficits.

 

 


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