Megan Robbins, Ph.D.
Lab Director

Professor Robbins has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside since 2013. She received her doctorate in Psychology from the University of Arizona, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Her research focuses on understanding how people’s (usually romantic couples’) daily social interactions are related to health and well-being. She particularly focuses on the role of expressive behaviors (e.g., word use, sighing, laughing) in the coping process using a naturalistic observation method called the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR; Mehl et al., 2001; Mehl, Robbins, & Deters, 2012). The EAR periodically records snippets of sound in people’s momentary environments, which allows Professor Robbins to examine how participants’ observed daily behavior relates to relationship and coping outcomes. Another line of her research uses findings from these observational studies to inform the development of coping and well-being interventions. Her ultimate goal is to understand the implications of mundane interactions and expressive behaviors to elucidate effective strategies and interventions people can naturally incorporate into their daily lives. Robbins_CV


Graduate Students

AlexAlexander Karan, M.A. is a doctoral candidate in the Social/Personality and Health Psychology program at UCR. After receiving his BA in Psychology with a Cognitive Science concentration at UCLA, he narrowed his focus to emotion, stress, coping, and emotion regulation. He is interested in studying, for example, how chronic illness such as cancer can compromise regulatory capabilities and lead to psychological ailments such as depression or panic disorder. Alex is interested in conducting interdisciplinary research that ultimately aims to prevent the onset of mental disorders. He looks forward to engaging in collaborative research in psychology and the broader Riverside community.


Robert Wright, M.A. is a doctoral candidate in the Social/Personality and Health Psychology program at UCR. He earned his BA from Sacramento State majoring in psychology, and his MA in sport psychology from San Jose State. Robert has spent the last several years working as a researcher in pediatric surgery at Stanford University. At Stanford his main psychological research focused on how beliefs about health can affect health outcomes. Medically, he focused on surgical technologies and their translation from the lab to the operating room. He is excited to continue to meld his interests in health and psychology at UCR.


Affiliated Graduate Students

Komi German, M.A. is a graduate student in the Social/Personality Psychology program at UCR. She collaborates with the OBSERVE Lab to examine interpersonal processes involved in the role of mentoring in graduate students’ careers.



Lilian Shin, M.A. is a graduate student in the Social/Personality Psychology program at UCR. She collaborates with the OBSERVE Lab to study the effect of conversation on interpersonal relationships and well-being.