A student assistant for the psychology department was recently able to interview Dr. Travis Carter, a new Psychology professor at Roanoke College this year, as a follow-up interview to learn more about him, his interests in psychology, and other cool things as the semester is now in full-swing. The following is the interview:
So, how do you like Roanoke so far? Is it very different from Maine?
I think it’s great! Everyone I’ve met has been incredibly welcoming, and although we’ve just started to explore the area, it seems like there’s a ton of stuff to do. And yes, it is very different from Maine in a lot of ways, but I think the biggest differences will be apparent this winter. I am not going to miss shoveling 3+ feet of snow from my driveway.
Can you tell me a little about your educational background?
I did my undergrad at the University of Chicago, which has a reputation as a large research university, but the undergraduate population is actually not all that big, so it operates more like a liberal arts college. I received my PhD from Cornell University, and then returned to Chicago for a postdoc in the Center for Decision Research, housed in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
What classes are you teaching right now and what types of courses will you be teaching in the future?
Right now, I am teaching PSYC-251: Social Psychology and PSYC-204: Quantitative Methods in Psychology. I’ll continue to teach those courses in the future, and will teach what I hope will be a fun INQ-120 course this coming spring, called A Perfect World. It aims to examine past utopian visions through the lens of modern psychological research. Next year, I’ll also be teaching some upper level courses, including a course in Judgment and Decision Making, and one on Social Cognition.
What are your past and current research interests?
I continue to have a diverse range of research interests, examining everything from political attitudes to consumer behavior to a fairness bias exhibited by Major League Baseball umpires. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in the ways that our judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors can be biased by both external forces (subtle exposure to a symbol in the environment, a manager screaming at an umpire about a bad call) and internal motivations (political ideology, desire to gorge yourself on potato chips).
What are some random/cool facts about you?
Just this summer my wife and I had a baby, who I think is in the running for cutest baby of all time. (And as someone who studies biased beliefs, I can comfortably say that my opinion about her cuteness is completely objective.)
Other than that, I love music, technology, and the boring sports (baseball, soccer).
Thank you Dr. Carter for taking time to answer our questions and congratulations on having a baby! We’re glad to have you at Roanoke College!