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Christopher Heavey

Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Expertise: Psychology

About

Christopher Heavey’s research interests are sampling inner experience, the inner experience of psychopathology including depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the relationship of inner experience to mental health.

Dr. Heavey has become one of the nation’s leading scholars in the thoughts and feelings that make up the consciousness of people as they go about their everyday lives. His work has helped shed light on the experiences of people who suffer from mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Additionally, Dr. Heavey uses the Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) method to explore the experience of people who share a common feature, such as those suffering from depression, as well as the characteristics and phenomena of normal, unaltered consciousness. Descriptive Experience Sampling involves asking subjects to pay attention to their ongoing inner experience at randomly chosen moments as they go about their day-to-day activities. Subjects subsequently describe these moments of experience during an interview. Written descriptions of these moments of experience then are combined to develop a profile of an individual or a group of individuals. Other topics of interest include how inner experience relates to other psychological constructs (e.g., personality, emotional intelligence, etc.), exploring the experience of naturally-occurring emotions, and how methodological variations in procedures used to research inner experience influence findings.

Education

  • Ph. D. Clinical Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles M.A. Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles B.A. Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz

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