Lab Director

kate website photo.webp

Katherine Thorson

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Barnard College. I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU, where I also earned my PhD in psychology, with a major in social psychology and a minor in quantitative psychology. I received my BA in psychology, with a minor in dance, from Bates College. Broadly, I study interpersonal interactions. I examine questions regarding interpersonal communication and influence, as well as physiological correlates of these processes, by studying face-to-face social interactions. I capture psychological, behavioral, and physiological processes as they naturally unfold over time, and I develop and employ novel analytic techniques and new methods for physiological and behavioral measurement.

CVGoogle Scholar ​

Contact: kthorson@barnard.edu

Undergraduate Researchers


Nafsika Esfandiari

I am a junior at Barnard College, pursuing a double major in Economics and Psychology. This binary education has not only brought me the analytical and quantitative mindset, but has also honed my awareness of human and social issues in our world. I am fascinated by social behavior and looking at it through different perspectives. I am also passionate about Developmental Psychology and Forensic Psychology. I am very excited to be part of this team! When I’m not studying I love spending time with my friends, watching movies and going to the museum. 

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 3.30.08 PM.png

Carolina Jimenez

Carolina Jimenez is a junior at Barnard College originally from uptown NYC studying Neuroscience & Behavior and Human Rights. She is interested in the ways social interactions and systems impact not only our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, but our physical and mental well-beings. Outside of academia, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, and caring for her plants!


Romy Levin

I am a junior at Barnard College majoring in Psychology. Broadly speaking, my academic passions are psychology and social justice. I am interested in combatting systemic injustices by studying how marginalization affects the developmental cascade and beyond. In my free time, I enjoy reading, being with friends, and spending way too much time at the Hungarian Pastry Shop.



Emily Mintz

Emily is a senior at Barnard College. She is pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. The intersection between clinical psychology and social psychology is especially interesting to her. In the future, she hopes to obtain a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her research interests include investigating suicide, digital assessments and interventions, and cross-cultural differences in mental health and stigma. Outside of her academics, Emily enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors, taking long walks and exploring the nature in her hometown on Long Island. Recently, she has begun to study the art of photography.

IMG_2066 (wecompress.com).jpeg

Talia Rosen

Talia Rosen is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Psychology and Human Rights. She grew up in New York and is so excited to be exploring this fascinating field during her time as an undergraduate. Talia has been interested in psychology for as long as she can remember and has found social psychology especially interesting. She is planning to pursue a degree in psychology before working as a psychotherapist. Talia is thrilled to be working with such a talented and dedicated team!


Brianna Vigorito

Brianna Vigorito is a senior at Barnard College studying Dance and Psychology. She is interested in investigating the intersection of these fields and is also passionate about childhood psychology. On campus, Bri enjoys working in the admissions office, as well as dancing with ONYX Hip Hop Dance Team, RAW Elementz, COLAB, and other student groups. When she’s not studying or dancing, she loves playing with her puppy Boo. 

Nia Simmons

PhD Student Affiliates

Oana-Headshot copy.jpg

Oana Dumitru 

Oana is a fourth year PhD student in Social Psychology at NYU. She received her BA in Psychology, with a joint minor in Math and Computer Science, also from NYU. Her research revolves around the effects of status and hierarchy on group dynamics, and specifically their impact on newcomers. She asks questions such as: How can newcomers influence group decisions? How does social status impact the experiences of newcomers in group interactions? And do hierarchies benefit or harm group decision-making when there is a newcomer in the group? 


Marta Vigier

Marta Vigier is a PhD student at the health psychology department of the University of Graz and a research assistant at the oncology unit of the Medical University of Graz in Austria. She previously graduated with a Bachelor in Psychology from the University of Caen Normandy in France and a Master degree from the Psychosomatic and Psycho-Oncology Research Unit at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. Her research interests lie at the intersection of psychology (doctor-patient communication), physiology (autonomic nervous system, psychophysiological measurements) and digital health (artificial intelligence). Her work at the oncology unit involves examining the relationship between vagal tone, immune markers, and psychosocial factors related to cancer progression.  Marta is a dog-lover who enjoys playing and taking walks with her dog. She loves to travel.


Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 3.23.59 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 3.29.58 PM.png

Posey Cohen

Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 8.42.27 PM.png

Zoe Zeltner

Nia Simmons