Erin C. Westgate | Assistant Professor
Dr. Erin Westgate is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida, where she studies boredom, interest, and why some thoughts are more engaging than others. She received her PhD in social psychology from the University of Virginia in 2018. Much of her research has been on the conditions under which people enjoy or do not enjoy their own thoughts. She has extended that work to the larger question of why people become bored, developing a new model of boredom that explains what boredom is, why we experience it, and what happens when we do. She spends her free time looking at fish in her many fresh and saltwater aquariums and -- when lucky -- in the ocean while scuba diving. Luckily, research suggests watching fish is good for you!
Current Research Assistants
El Rim Ahn
Hello Everyone! My name is El and I'm a post-bac volunteer and Head Research Assistant for the Florida Social Cognition and Emotion Lab. I grew up in Seoul, South Korea and moved to the US when I was 16. I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a volunteer in this research lab as my goal is to pursue graduate school in psychology. While I am enthusiastic about learning different topics in social psychology, my current research interest lies broadly in social-personality psychology. I am interested in how boredom can be a motivating force and how it can spur people to search for meaning in their lives. As it is my first semester in the lab, I am excited to discover where my strengths lie. Outside of the lab, I enjoy backpacking, exploring and traveling to different cities/countries.
Hey! My is Emily, and I’m a first-year Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience major who is volunteering with the Social Cognition and Emotion Lab. I was born in Sarasota, Florida, and identify as she/her. I am beyond excited about volunteering in the lab, as I feel it is a great way to introduce myself to the world of psychological research. I am very passionate and interested in psychology as a whole, but I am particularly intrigued by social psychology and the inner workings of social connection. I definitely want to keep learning as much as I can about social behaviors, perceptions, beliefs, and actions. I hope that by getting hands-on involvement with the field I am better able to apply the experiences I take from the lab to what I’m leaning through my degree. My goals right now are to continue conducting research and eventually move onto grad school. In my life outside of research, I like to spend my time going to concerts, going out with friends, creating art, and discovering/traveling to new places.
Hi everyone! My name is Ananda and I am currently pursuing a degree in general psychology and a minor in sociology. I grew up in Miami, FL and identify with the pronouns she/her/hers. It is my second year at the University of Florida and I am beyond excited to participate in the Social Cognition and Emotions Lab. Through this lab, I’m able to explore and learn about this side of research within the field of social psychology. My main interest within social psychology is group behavior and how it affects decision making and cooperation. My goals are to continue increasing my knowledge and select a specialty to go into for graduate school. Outside of school, my interest include learning about different cultures, traveling, music, and watching crime television shows.
Hey y'all! My name is Kacie Brady and I am a fourth year psychology major with a sociology minor. I am a fourth-year psychology major, and my goal is to go to grad school and get my degree in Mental Health Counseling. I am incredibly passionate about psychology, and I believe that my purpose in life is to help as many people as possible with what I have learned. Developmental psychology is of particular interest to me, and I hope to one day specialize in child therapy. I am grateful to be part of the Florida Social Cognition and Emotion Lab, and I am incredibly interested in why people think the way they do. My hobbies include working with my animals on my family's farm, reading, and going Disney World!