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Brendan Bo O'Connor (nee Gaesser) "Bren"

Assistant Professor | Suny Albany

Ph.D. | Harvard University

Where are you coming from?

As of fall 2016, I am an assistant professor of psychology at SUNY Albany. Before starting at SUNY Albany, I was a postdoctoral researcher at Boston College in the Morality Lab led by Liane Young and affiliated with the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab led by Elizabeth Kensinger. I received my B.A. from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and my Ph.D. from Harvard University, where I was a graduate student in the Memory Lab led by Dan Schacter.

What kind of psychologist are you?

Cognitive? Social? Neuro? Aging? Applied? My research program is a blend of social phenomena (social decision-making and prosocial behavior) with cognitive processes (episodic mechanisms) with an eye on developmental for good measure–I have some interest in how deficits in episodic mechanisms in older adults impact changes in social phenomena. My graduate training was mainly in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. However, towards the end of graduate school my interests broadened to social and applied psychology. Rather than an identity crisis, the breadth of my research is a consequence of systematically following a trail of interconnected ideas. Reflecting my cross-subfield interests are the variety of journals I publish in, courses I teach, and academic conferences I attend. All this is to say, I am a hybrid psychologist. 

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