Graduate Students

NICK GRAY, B.A.

Nick is in his second year of the masters program for General Experimental Psychology (with a focus in Social-Personality Psychology) at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He received his B.A. in Psychology in 2019 from SUNY Buffalo State College. Nick’s research interests are in the self and motivated behaviors with regards to threat.


ALESSIA ITALIANO, B.A.

Alessia is in her third year of the doctoral program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2017 with a B.A. in Psychology (Research Distinction) and a minor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. After graduating she worked as a lab manager at The Ohio State University-Lima. Alessia’s research interests fall under the broad category of “the self,” with interests in self-esteem, self-threat, social roles, intersectionality, and women in STEM.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Italiano, A. & Park, L.E. (2020, February). Effects of feedback on women’s STEM outcomes. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
  • Italiano A., Young, H., Park, L. (2019, February). The Bright side of the American dream: Social mobility beliefs mitigate the negative association between financial contingency of self-worth and well-being. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Portland, OR.
  • Freis, S. D., Brown, A. A., Italiano, A.  (2018, March). Different entitlement bases within grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Atlanta, GA.
  • Italiano, A., Freis, S. D., Crocker, J. (2017, April). What’s in it for me? When will a narcissist help others? Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Italiano, A., Freis, S. D., Carroll, P. J. (2016, May). When manipulation is seen as skill: Exploitation among the narcissistic subtypes. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

CASSIE O’BRIEN, B.S.

Cassie is in her first year of the doctoral program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She received her B.S. in 2020 from Allegheny College, with a major in Psychology and minors in Political Science and Communications. Cassie’s research interests include understanding how different social factors, social identities, and coping strategies can influence the resilience and motivations of individuals. She is interested in how these questions can be applied to specific social issues and domains, such as stigma and prejudice.


ZAVIERA REYES, M.A.

Zaviera is in her fourth year of the doctoral program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She earned her M.A. in Social Psychology in 2016 from San Francisco State University. Zaviera’s research interests include the mechanisms that underlie resilience in response to stressful life events. Her overall aim is to identify behavioral and cognitive patterns that can be learned in adulthood to bolster resilience.

Publications

  • Cho, H., Dou, W., Reyes, Z., Geisler, M. W., & Morsella, E. (2018). The reflexive imagery task: An experimental paradigm for neuroimaging. AIMS Neuroscience, 5, 97-115.

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Reyes, Z. B., Saltsman, T. L., Ward, D. E., Radsvick, T. M., & Seery, M. D. (2020, April). Piece-rate versus all-or-none framing moderates effects of goal progress on commitment. Paper to have been presented at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL. [canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic]
  • Radsvick, T. M., Saltsman, T. L., Reyes, Z. B., Ward, D. E., & Seery, M. D. (2020, February). Past meaning and future horizons: Nostalgia increases behavioral intentions for proximal activities, but maybe not importance of life goals. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
  • Reyes, Z. B., Saltsman, T. L., Ward, D. E., Radsvick, T. M., & Seery, M. D. (2020, February). Piece-rate versus all-or-none framing moderates effects of goal progress on commitment to a health goal. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.
  • Reyes, Z., Yankulova, J. K., Yoo, S. H., & Morsella, E. (2017, May). Resilience and involuntary processing of valenced stimuli: The factor of approach/avoidance orientation. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA.
  • Reyes, Z., & Yoo S. H. (2016, March). Behavioral patterns of resilience. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Affective Sciences, Chicago, IL.
  • Reyes, Z., Du, F., Eusebio, E., Wagner, S., & Yoo S. H. (2016, January). Resilience and self-talk: Pathways towards regulating positive and negative emotions. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.
  • Reyes, Z., Eusebio, E., Wagner, S., Du, F., Tannler, M., Tan, A., & Yoo S. H. (2015, April). Positive self-talk during conversations: A buffer against negative emotions. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, Las Vegas, NV.

DEBORAH WARD, M.S.

Deborah is in her final year of the doctoral program in Social-Personality Psychology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She received her B.A. in 2012 from Muhlenberg College, where she double majored in Psychology (Honors) and Russian Studies. She also earned an M.S. in Psychology in 2014 from Villanova University. Deborah’s research interests include contingencies of self-worth, coping mechanisms, and the experience of underrepresented minorities in higher education.

Publications

  • Ward, D.E.Park, L.E., Naragon-Gainey, K., Whillans, A.V., & Jung, H.Y. (2020). Can’t buy me love (or friendship): Social consequences of financially contingent self-worth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • Le, P. Q., Saltsman, T. L., Seery, M. D., Ward, D. E., Kondrak, C. L., & Lamarche, V. M. (2019). When a small self means manageable obstacles: Spontaneous self-distancing predicts divergent effects of awe during a subsequent performance stressor. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 80, 59-66.
  • Park, L.E., Kondrak, C.L., Ward, D.E., & Streamer, L. (2018). Positive feedback from male authority figures boosts women’s math outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 359-383.
  • Park, L.E., Ward, D.E., & Naragon-Gainey, K. (2017). It’s all about the money (for some): Consequences of financially contingent self-worth. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 601-622.
  • Slotter, E. B., & Ward, D. E. (2015).  Finding the silver lining: The role of redemptive narratives in individuals’ emotional distress after the end of a romantic relationship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 737-756. 

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Ward, D.E., Seery, M.D., Kondrak, C.L., & Saltsman, T.L. (2020, May). Just my imagination? The association between dissonance-like emotions and post-traumatic growth. Poster accepted for presentation at the 32nd Annual Association for Psychological Science in Chicago, IL. [canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic]
  • Ward, D.E., & Park, L.E., Walsh, C.M., Whillans, A.V., & Paravati, E.S. (2019, April). For the love of money: The influence of financially contingent self-worth in romantic relationships. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago, IL.
  • Ward, D.E., Park, L.E., Naragon-Gainey, K., Whillans, A.V., & Jung, H.Y. (2019, February). Can’t buy me love (or friendship): Social implications of financially contingent self-worth. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Portland, OR.
  • Ward, D.E.,& Park, L.E. (2018, April). Consequences of financially contingent self-worth.Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago, IL.
  • Ward, D.E., Park, L.E., & Kondrak, C.L. (2017, April). The power of the majority: supportive feedback from men boosts women’s STEM outcomes.Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago, IL.
  • Ward, D. E., & Park, L. (2016, January). Consequences of financially contingent self-worth. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.
  • Ward, D. E., & Slotter, E. (2015, February). A weight off the shoulders: The effects of self-compassion on affect and self-stigma following negative association with weight and body-image. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Long Beach, CA.
  • Ward, D. E., Kurtz, J., & Pammett, E. (2014, March). Between genius and madness: Cognitive correlates of subfactors within the openness trait domain. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality Assessment, Arlington, VA.
  • Walsh, C., Ward, D. E., Good, E., & Kurtz, J. (2014, March). Mother knows best: College adjustment and coping mechanisms as reported by self, peer, and parent. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality Assessment, Arlington, VA.
  • Ward, D. E., Slotter, E., & Walsh, C. (2014, February). Following the ‘Silver Linings Playbook’: The role of redemptive narratives in individuals’ emotional distress after the end of a romantic relationship. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.