Recent events

August, 2016. I am very pleased to have been named a 2016 Fellow in the Society for Personality & Social Psychology.

August, 2016. Check out For Goodness’ Sake, a new Psychology Today blog on altruism that my graduate student Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz and I have started.

Abigail Marsh at TEDSummit2016, June 26 – 30, 2016, Banff, Canada. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED

June, 2016. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to present on the TED main stage in Banff this month. It was an experience unlike anything else I’ve done. My talk on extraordinary altruism will be posted to on September 16th!

June, 2016. June is always a month for farewells! We are sad to say good-bye to Abbey Hammell, our terrific full-time research assistant for the past year, and wish her luck as she begins the Psychology PhD program at University of Minnesota with Shmuel Lissek.

June, 2016. Congratulations to Emily Robertson, our wonderful laboratory manager for the last two years, as she moves on to the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Louisiana State University, where she will be working with the amazing Paul Frick. The only problem is how sad we are to say good-bye. Thank you for all you have done for LSAN, Emily! We will miss you. But we know we are in good hands with our new lab manager, Lydia Meena–welcome, Lydia!

June, 2016. A huge congratulations to Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz, who has accepted a post-doctoral research position in Joe Kable‘s lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

April, 2016. Welcome to our newest IPN graduate student, Katie O’Connell, who recently joined the IPN following a post-bac fellowship at the NIMH.

logoApril, 2016. I was pleased to be among a fantastic slate of presenters, including Alison Gopnik, Amy Cuddy, Tania Lombrozo, June Gruber, Mary Ann Mason, and others, at the “Misconceptions of Mind,” (MoMiCon) conference, which was aimed at dispelling myths like, “Babies are racist” and, “Human nature is selfish,” and modeling how conferences can accommodate the needs of academic mothers of young children. The conference was recently covered in NPRYou can see me discussing the idea that “Human nature is not fundamentally selfish” here.

January, 2016. What is the most interesting recent scientific news, and what makes it important? See my answer, as well as those of Simon Baron-Cohen, Nicholas Christakis, Helen Fisher, and 190 others at My answer and nine others were also covered in this article in the Washington Post.

November, 2015. I am very pleased to have a book deal with Robinson Psychology at Little, Brown, and to be working with Andrew McAleer on my forthcoming book.

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Conversation with Matthieu Ricard

October, 2015. It was a delight to serve as the moderator for Matthieu Ricard‘s recent discussion of altruism and social responsibility at Georgetown.

October, 2015. You can listen to a newly published podcast describing the lab’s research with altruistic kidney donors on the PNAS website here.

June, 2015. We are pleased to welcome Abbey Hammel to the lab as a full-time research assistant. Abbey (whose name will not cause too much confusion, I hope) joins us from Winona State University and will be working on our ongoing project on altruistic stem cell donation, which we are conducting in collaboration with the National Marrow Donor Program.

April, 2015. I attended the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences to receive the Cozzarelli Prize on behalf of the lab, and was recognized at the annual meeting of the PNAS Editorial Board.

March, 2015. I am now being represented by the literary agency Peters, Fraser, & Dunlop.

February, 2015. We have learned that our paper, “Neural and cognitive characteristics of extraordinary altruists,” has been awarded this year’s Cozzarelli Prize for what the editorial board deems the year’s best paper in each topic area in PNAS. Congratulations to all the lab members who worked so hard on this project!

January, 2015. What do you think about machines that think? See my answer, as well as those of Steven Pinker, Brian Eno, Nina Jablonski, and 183 others at

December, 2014. Two of our papers on altruism made the Greater Good Science Centers list of 2014s Top 10 Scientific Insights for a Meaningful Life.

September, 2014. Our research on the neural correlates of altruistic kidney donation was recently featured in a segment on NPR’s Morning Edition. You can listen to the story online.

September, 2014. I am on maternity leave for the Fall semester after welcoming my new daughter. I will be returning in January. Please direct any lab-related emails to our lab manager at

September, 2014. Welcome to our newest LCN graduate student, Kruti Vekaria, who joins us from Vanderbilt University.

August, 2014. Leah Lozier’s JAMA Psychiatry paper on amygdala responses to fearful facial expressions in children with callous-unemotional traits was selected by the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy as this month’s featured manuscript.

July, 2014. Congratulations to Joana Vieira, who has been awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to work with Derek Mitchell at the University of Western Ontario. We wish you luck in the next phase of your career!

June, 2014. We are sad to say good-bye to Sarah Stoycos, our fantastic lab manager of two years, and we wish her luck as she enters the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at University of Southern California. Thank you for everything, Sarah!  We are also excited to welcome our new lab manager, Emily Robertson, who joins us from the University of North Florida.

May, 2014. Congratulations to graduating senior Jenny Hammer, longtime LSAN member, honors student, published author, winner of the Sebastian Brenninkmeijer Award, and Georgetown University Class of 2014 valedictorian! We are so proud of you, and well miss you next year.

April, 2014. A huge congratulations to LSAN graduate Leah Lozier on being awarded one of the first Presidential Management Fellowships for students in STEM disciplines.

March, 2014. Congratulations to Dr. Joana Vieira for successfully defending her dissertation “Influence of psychopathic traits on social interaction patterns” and receiving her PhD from the University of Porto!

February, 2014. Joana Vieiras manuscript on psychopathy and the regulation of interpersonal distance was one of Frontiers in Human Neurosciences Top 10 most viewed articles last month.

February, 2014. Just in time for Valentines Day, see my video on the chemistry of love, sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

January, 2014. What scientific idea is ready for retirement? See my answer, as well as those of Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Alison Gopnik, and 166 others at

November, 2013. Joana Vieira’s research on economic decision-making in high and low psychopathy scorers was selected as this month’s featured manuscript by the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.

October, 2013. My graduate adviser Nalini Ambady died on October 28th from complications of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Her life and work were an inspiration, and her legacy includes the dozens of psychology professors and researchers she mentored. If you have not already, please consider signing up to become a marrow donor–you could get the chance to save the life of someone like Nalini.

October, 2013. Want to know more about the neurochemistry of fear? My discussion of this topic is featured in this month’s Byte Size Science from the American Chemical Society.

July, 2013. Congratulations to Dr. Leah Lozier for successfully defending her dissertation, “The behavioral and neural basis of emotional face processing in atypically developing children and adolescents” and becoming the lab’s first PhD!

July, 2013. Daniel Wegner, my graduate adviser and a brilliant social psychologist, died on July 5th from complications of amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His passing is a tremendous loss.

June, 2013. Happy news! I received word that I have been awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor.

June, 2013. Congratulations to Joana Vieira for winning the Cheryl Wynne Hare Award for best poster at the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy conference in June.

June, 2013. You can now follow the lab on Twitter at @aa_marsh

May, 2013. Farewell and congratulations to our graduating seniors Jessica, Kelly, Keri, and Yean. We will miss you!

April, 2013. Congratulations to Joana Vieira for winning an APS Student Research Award for her poster submission, entitled, “Psychopathic traits predict preferred social distance in healthy individuals.” See Joana describing her research here.

March, 2013. FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole and I spoke to filmmakers in New York about the science of psychopaths at an event sponsored by the Tribeca Film Institute and the National Academy of Sciences.