I am a psychologist interested in daydreaming, imagination, and the stream of consciousness.
My research focuses on the positive consequences of imagining other people during daydreaming activity. Although daydreaming is an internal and solitary process, we are rarely alone in our daydreams. In fact, daydreams are predominately social in nature: we frequently simulate past and possible future interactions with (real or imagined) others and think about our relationships and lives with other people. My research examines how, and when, social daydreaming can contribute to social and emotional well-being. I’m also fascinated by individual differences in imaginary abilities: why can some people use their imagination to create rich and vivid sensory imagery whilst others struggle to conjure even simple images in their mind’s eye? People’s inner experiences seem to vary substantially and I’m interested in why this might be the case and what effect it has on people’s lives.
I’m excited to collaborate with anyone and everyone interested in how and why we spend so much time daydreaming and the conditions under which daydreaming might be something that is good for us (rather than something to be avoided or discouraged).
I also have an interest in Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), which is a pleasant, relaxing, tingling sensation that some people experience in response to certain triggers such as whispering, soft speaking, tapping, crinkling, and close personal attention. ASMR is often anecdotally used as an aid for sleep, relaxation, and well-being but there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the existence and benefits of the experience.