I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with Drs. Celia Moore and Edward Tronick. I was recently named a Harvard University Sackler Scholar Fellow in Psychobiology (2011-2012).
I attained my Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Brandeis University in 2011.
My research activities include:
• Autonomic nervous system monitoring, including cardiovascular and neuroendocrine parameters
• Psychophysiological processes in the development of emotion regulation and social engagement, including the etiology of pathophysiological disorders, including hair cortisol and immune parameters
• Social class and health disparities, resilience, etiology and epidemiology of disease related to social processes
• Stress associated with intergroup interactions, social identity threat (e.g., challenge and threat processes)
• Social emotions in healthy and pathological populations (e.g., shame, pride, empathy) in shaping physiological responsiveness, appraisal and behavior (e.g., social identity, self-esteem, bias, moral judgments, relationship formation and maintenance)
- Health Psychology
- Helping, Prosocial Behavior
- Intergroup Relations
- Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- O'Brien, K. (2012). Healthy, Wealthy, Wise? Psychosocial Factors Influencing the Socioeconomic Status-Health Gradient. J Health Psychol doi: 10.1177/1359105311433345
- O’Brien, Tronick, & Moore (2012). Relationship between Hair Cortisol and Perceived Chronic Stress in a Diverse Sample. Stress and Health.
- O’Brien, Afzal, & Tronick, (2012). Relational psychophysiology and mutual regulation during dyadic therapeutic and developmental relating. Interdisciplinary Handbook of the Person Centered Approach: Connections Beyond Psychotherapy, Eds. Jef Cornelius-White, Renate Motschnig, Michael Lux.
- O'Brien, K. (2011). Moral Certainty Under Stress: Physiological and Psychological influences on Moral Judgments.
- O’Brien, Koslov, Argo, & Mendes, (2010). Embodied Bias: Explicit attitudes and Psychophysiology during Arab/White intergroup interactions (abstract). Observer Vol.23, No.6 July/August, 2010
- O’Brien & Moore (2011). Early Life Stress, the Development of Physiological Stress Systems, and Potential Personality Moderators (abstract). International Journal of Developmental Psychobiology, 53(7), 761.
- O’Brien & Moore (2011). Subjective and Objective Socioeconomic Status influences Differential Autonomic Stress Reactivity (abstract). International Journal of Developmental Psychobiology, 53(7),761.
- O’Brien, Tronick, & Moore (2012). Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in Biological and Perceived Chronic Stress: Does Group Identification Matter? escholarship.umassmed.edu.
- O’Brien, Wingfield & Rohleder, (2011). Low Vagal Tone predicts greater Threat Perceptions and Refusal to harm Others in Socio-Moral Judgments After Social Stress. Psychophysiology, 48 (supplement 1), 593.
- Foundations of Psychology
- Social Psychology Lecture
- Social Psychology Research Lab
- Social Psychology Seminar
360 Huntington Ave.
Dept of Psychology
Boston, Massachusetts 02115