Lab Members

The Cultural-Existential Psychology Lab is centered in the Psychology Building, Rooms 520 & 526, on the University of Arizona campus. The lab is run by Dr. Sullivan's two current graduate students.



Harrison Schmitt

Harrison Schmitt is a third year PhD student in the lab. He is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. He received his B.A. in psychology from California State University, Fresno with a minor in Spanish in 2018. In one line of research, he is investigating the ways in which the psychological ramifications of financial debt differ based on an individual's social class standing. In another line of research, he is investigating the mental health impact of living through chronic environmental contamination. A unifying theme in Harrison's work is examining how culture, various forms of disadvantage, and suffering experiences influence the psychological understanding and social organization of time. In his work, Harrison maintains a strong commitment to multi-method approaches and interdisciplinarity in the study of social issues.

Please click the link to download Harrison's CV.



Photo of Alexis Goad

Alexis received her BS in Psychology from Oklahoma State University and her MA in Experimental Psychology from Cleveland State University. Her research interests focus on the existential and historical parameters of identity frameworks. Specifically, she is interested in the conceptualization, maintenance, and majority perception of Native American identity in a sociopolitical culture of trauma and eradication.


If you are interested in joining the Cultural-Existential Psychology Lab as an undergraduate research assistant, please email Harrison or Alexis.

Harrison Schmitt -

Alexis Goad -





Photo of Isaac Young

Isaac received his BA in Psychology from University of Kansas, his MA in Social Psychology and Program Evaluation from Claremont Graduate University, and his PhD in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2020. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Beloit College.

His research interests reside at the intersection of cultural and emotional processes. In particular, he is interested in how certain cultural dimensions (e.g., individualism-collectivism, religiosity) afford certain styles of relating to one’s physical and social surroundings, as well as how these styles impact emotional experience, interpersonal processes, and wellbeing. For example, he is interested in the ways that some cultures afford a sense of connection with one’s social and physical surroundings, whereas others afford a more ambivalent sense of separation from one’s surroundings. These broad interests have manifested in two areas of research: Culturally-conscious research on styles of relating to one’s surroundings and proneness to specific emotions (e.g., guilt, shame, anxiety; Young, Razavi, Cohen, Yang, Alabèrnia-Segura, Sullivan, in press; Young, Sullivan, Palitsky, 2018) and historically-conscious research on the problems faced by individuals in contemporary, modern contexts. With respect to the latter type of research, he is particularly interested in the effects of individuals feeling like society is a theater play that they are performing in (i.e., the dramaturgical perspective; Sullivan, Landau, Young, Stewart, 2014). Most recently, he is conducting research on the consequences of dramaturgical perspective for phenomena such as adherence to gender expectations and wellbeing in occupational contexts (e.g., professional burnout).

Selected publications:

Young, I. F., Razavi, P., Cohen, T. R., Yang, Q., Alabèrnia-Segura, M., Sullivan, D. (in press). A multidimensional approach to the relationship between individualism-collectivism and guilt and shame. Emotion.

Young, I. F., Sullivan, D., & Hamann, H. (in press). Abortions due to the zika virus versus fetal alcohol syndrome: An attribution model-based investigation of willingness to help. Stigma and Health.

Young, I. F., Sullivan, D., Stewart, S., & Palitsky, R. (2018). The existential approach to place: Consequences for emotional Experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 60, 100-109.

Sullivan, D., Landau, M. J., Young, I. F., & Stewart, S. A. (2014). The dramaturgical perspective in relation to self and culture. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(5), 767-790.

Please click the link to download Isaac's CV


Roman Palitsky received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Arizona in 2020. He is currently completing a post-doc at Brown University. His research centers on cultural, religious and existential topics in clinical health psychology. He has earned an MDiv from Harvard University.

Please click the link to download Roman's CV.