2023 SSHRC Insight Grants awarded to psychology researchers

Top L-R: Dr. Jeremy Biesanz, Dr. Anita DeLongis and Dr. Kristin Laurin. Bottom L-R: Dr. Victoria Savalei and Dr. Jiaying Zhao

Fifty-seven projects led by UBC researchers were awarded a combined $10.3 million

Congratulations to the UBC Psychology faculty and their research collaborators who received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as part of the 2023 Insight Grant competition.

Through this funding our researchers will explore how couples cope, the consequences of likeability, integrating happiness and climate science, and the models for psychological scales.

The following UBC Psychology researchers received Insight Grants

Dr. Jeremy Biesanz
Project: Examining the consequences of likeability

Dr.  Biesanz, a professor in the UBC's Department of Psychology,  investigates social psychology, social perception, developmental psychology, personality, and welfare. He has researched social perception in several fields, including stereotypes, interpersonal relationships, and social cognition. His biological study spans a wide range of topics, including social relations, interpersonal communication, perception, interpersonal perception, and normative. Dr. Jeremy Biesanz is the director of the Social Accuracy Lab , where they examine the process of howwhen, and why one forms more or less accurate impressions of others using the Social Accuracy Model (SAM)

Dr. Anita DeLongis
Project: How can I help? Dyadic coping and support in couples

Dr.  DeLongis, a professor in UBC's Department of Psychology, examines the interplay of stress and social relationships. Her research addresses topics including:

  • The role of close relationships in stress and coping and the dynamic interplay between an individual’s efforts to cope with daily stressors and patterns of social interactions in impacting health and relationship outcomes;
  • The range of stressors faced by Canadians, from everyday hassles to marital dissatisfaction and divorce, to physical and mental illness, and the impact of such stressors on health and well-being;
  • The ways in which individuals, couples, and families cope with medical and interpersonal stressors over time and across situations;
  • The role of stress and coping as individuals and their families deal with chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injury, and HIV as well as infectious diseases such as SARS, H1N1, and COVID-19.

Dr. Kristin Laurin
Project: Reluctance to disclose political identities: Causes and consequences

Dr. Laurin, a professor in UBC's department of Psychology, investigates how people’s goals and motivations interact with their beliefs and ideologies – about politics, about religion, or about the nature of the world. For example, she asks questions like what motivates people to support the principle of democracy, even when doing so goes against their own interests. Or what do we do when we’ve done something that we know is wrong? Why is it that the social standing you’re born with is most likely the social standing you’ll die with? And how do people go about convincing themselves that the world they live in is fair?

Dr. Victoria Savalei
Project: Model selection for psychological scales

Dr. Victoria Savalei, a professor in UBC's Department of Psychology, focuses on research in the area of structural equation modeling (SEM) for psychological and behavioral science data. SEM is a powerful statistical modeling tool that allows psychologists to test complicated theories involving multiple observed and latent variables. The following are some research questions that are investigated in her work :

  • How can SEMs be estimated and evaluated more reliably with difficult kinds of data, such as incomplete data, nonnormal data, categorical data, data with a small number of observations, or some combination of these?
  • What are the properties of popular approximate indices of fit used in SEM?
  • How can SEMs best be used to model response biases in personality data?

Dr. Jiaying Zhao
Project: Can we integrate happiness science and climate science to reduce carbon emissions?

Dr. Zhao, an associate professor, and behavioural scientist in UBC’s Department of Psychology and Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability, uses psychological principles to design behavioural solutions to address financial and environmental sustainability challenges. Specifically, she examines how resource scarcity impacts human cognition and behaviour; what interventions are effective at alleviating the cognitive burdens in the poor; how to encourage recycling and composting behaviour; and how to promote public actions on climate change.

Join us in congratulating our faculty and their research collaborators!

“This research investment is essential to generate fresh ideas, insights and perspectives on the human and societal dimensions of key challenges facing Canadians.”
President, SSHRC

Insight Grants support research excellence in the social sciences and humanities. Funding is available to emerging and established scholars for research initiatives of two to five years. Stable support for long-term research initiatives is central to advancing knowledge.