The author

I am Joseph. First, the two most relevant things about me for this place is that I am a Ph.D. student studying social psychology and I have a mental illness. In social psychology, I specifically study or have interests in emotion, prosocial (“good”) behavior, well-being and culture. Probably in that order. However, my first love might just be applied statistics and whatever strikes me as “cool data.” I want to share things about these topics!

I also have a mental illness. Mental health and mental illness are important parts of my experience and identity. I was diagnosed at 15 with clinical depression, though I remember my symptoms starting around 11. I worked for a bit in mental health education and outreach with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the past. I miss being involved in outreach. I’d like to write about my own experiences here, if nothing else.

Other background on me: I am 29, male, straight, fourth-generation Mexican-American, and spent a bit in what some consider a christian cult but became an Atheist over time. Why list all this stuff? It’s about the title. I have only my own perspective to offer, and it’s important to consider the limitations, especially in psychological research. A mundane example: living in the 21st century, metaphors about computers are easy for me to understand and do a good deal to describe some aspects of human cognition. For someone from the 1700s, it may not be as easily understandable. There’s also important limitations to the “human brain as a computer” metaphor. The differences and similarities both teach us things about ourselves.

Besides all that, here’s some random bits about me as a person! I like rock and instrumental music, enjoy a variety of foods despite eating the same few things all the time, play video games when I have time, self-identify as “total trash” for enjoying fan-fiction, love the McElroys’ podcasts, Oh No! Ross and Carrie podcast, and have seen the musical Wicked at least 5 times (I lost track after 5). My favorite stories are ones that make me cry, though that’s not all that hard. I was on the news once in elementary school; I won a bike for some reason, and they had me ride it out for the cameras. I crashed into a pole.