I am Joseph. 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 am interested in compassion, prosocial (“good”) behavior and social decision-making, and emotion more generally. Probably in that order. However! My first love might is applied statistics and data I find intriguing. For me, that basically means it’s not just cross-sectional, one-shot survey. People are complicated and they live in a complicated world. I like working with data that attempts to capture that a little bit.
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 30, 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 of this website! I have only my own perspective to offer, and it’s important to consider the limitations, especially in psychological research. We are far from a mathematically formalized field, and so the kind of knowledge we produce is still embedded in language and interpretation.
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 local 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.