Newsletter Article

Lorin Dole

"I think I pursued psychology out of curiosity. I've heard lots of people say (somewhat) jokingly that people become psychology majors to try to figure themselves out. Maybe that was my motivation." - Lorin Dole (BS, June 2010)

While Lorin Dole may have embarked on his study of psychology with a broad based curiosity and the intention to learn more about himself, he is poised to leave UW with more than he'd likely imagined possible. A member of the psychology honors program whose first university research experience involved creating an online survey as an assignment for a biological anthropology class, Lorin is set to begin a Ph.D. program at Stanford University this fall.  He'll be part of Clifford Nass' Communication Between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) lab. 

At Stanford, Lorin will continue in the field of research, human-robot interaction (HRI), that he began to study here with psychology professor Peter Kahn.  His work with Dr. Kahn's Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) lab led Lorin look at questions in an interdisciplinary way, seeking out classes in fields such as sociology, statistics, and philosophy.  "The HRI community is comprised of not only psychologists but also computer scientists, roboticists, ethicists, designers, and more," says Lorin, "and, it's growing."

Thinking about words of wisdom to share with new psychology majors, the outgoing president of the UW chapter of Psi Chi (national psychology honor society) gives a shout out to psychology lecturer Laura Little and encourages students to take statistics seriously.  As most researchers, not just those in psychology, report their findings statistically, Lorin notes that a strong grasp of stats will give students a leg up in nearly all of their classes.  "Being able to understand what researchers' numbers are saying," says Lorin, "and being able to replicate, augment, or manipulate the methods used to produce those numbers, is critical."

For Lorin, who leaves UW with a BS in psychology, a philosophy minor, a strong record of research and service, the numbers add up to a fully funded Stanford Ph.D. program and what promises to be a very bright future.