Jehan Sparks, Ph.D.
Hi, welcome to my website!
I'm a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Social Cognition Center Cologne at the University of Cologne, Germany.
My research integrates theory in social psychology with insights from economics, to advance our understanding of positive and negative information.
“Good” and “bad” are two of the most fundamental human concepts. People can readily categorize nearly all experiences in terms of a simple positive versus negative dichotomy. For example, we can see the glass of water as half full (positive) or half empty (negative), we can think of how our day could have been better (positive) or could have been worse (negative), and we can describe the qualities we like (positive) or dislike (negative) in potential romantic partners.
Yet, my research suggests that this dichotomy may be oversimplified, constraining the questions researchers tend to ask about positive and negative information as well as the results they tend to find. By contributing to a more sophisticated conceptual framework for studying positives and negatives, my work generates and tests new predictions about negativity and positivity biases that connect diverse topic areas like framing, counterfactual thinking, and ambivalence.