Chris L. Heavey, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost / Professor of Psychology
Dr. Chris L. Heavey is the executive vice president and provost at UNLV. In this role, he serves as the university's chief academic officer and works closely with the president in overseeing academic and budgetary policies and priorities for the campus.
As a professor of psychology and a licensed psychologist, he conducts research to improve understanding of the inner experience and its relationship to mental health. He is 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.
Dr. Heavey has been at UNLV for more than 28 years, during which time he has been recognized for his award-winning work. He has also held several leadership and administrative positions over his career, including Senior Vice Provost, Dean, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Director of General Education, Associate Dean, and President of the Nevada State Psychology Board.
He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also holds a master’s degree from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz.
Dr. Heavey has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, including COLA 100LA: First-Year Seminar, HON 200A: General Psychology, PSY 101: General Psychology, PSY 210: Introduction to Statistical Methods, PSY 240: Research Methods, PSY 435: Personality Psychology, PSY 451: Basic Principles of Psychotherapy, PSY 494: Psychology of Marriage, PSY 497: Supervised Field Experience, PSY 498: Independent Study, PSY 714: History and Foundations of Clinical Psychology, PSY 726: Intervention with Adults, PSY 757: Teaching of Psychology, PSY 767: General Practicum, PSY 767: Marital Therapy Practicum, and PSY 794: Special Topics (Family Therapy Practicum).
Dr. Heavey researches inner experience, or the thoughts, feelings, sensations and other experiences that populate awareness. He 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 areas of interest for Dr. Heavey 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.