Patrick M. Egan
Graduate Student of Social Psychology
Patrick is a fourth-year graduate student in Ed's lab. He graduated from Southwestern University (in Georgetown, Texas) as a psychology major in 2009. There he conducted research projects on the perceptions of persons with disabilities and student-teacher sexual relationships. Now at IU, his most recent research has focused on the impact of perceptions in the process of mental fatigue, as well as the power of perspective taking in modulating self-regulatory abilities. His primary interests revolve around the domains of (a) self-regulation, (b) perspective-taking, (c) self-handicapping, and (d) emotion attribution.
One line of research Patrick is currently investigating revolves around people's expectations towards various sources of mental fatigue and mental replenishment. For instance, many of us are aware of the myriad products advertised to combat mental depletion by providing "wings", "5-hour energy", or just a general influx of important bodily resources. But just how attuned are people to the actual changes in their overall level of mental and physical tiredness? If I drink a Red Bull, how do my expectations of this drink interact with the physiological impact of this beverage to produce an attribution regarding my current level of mental stamina? Some recent work Patrick has conducted, along with Ed and a former Hirtlabber (Joshua Clarkson) suggests that our current state of mental fatigue is strongly influenced by "lay theories of restoration", or our general beliefs towards the restorative influence of a certain product, behavior, or mood state. Although this research program is only in its beginning stages, this work is ultimately designed to enhance our understanding of mental depletion and provide practical avenues by which practitioners, organizations, and educators can maximize the mental acuity of their population of interest.
Aside from working in the lab, Patrick enjoys playing/watching sports, eating [good] Tex-Mex food (he is originally from Texas after all), expanding his culinary expertise, annoying his neighbors via Rock Band, travelling, obsessing over Penguins and Golden Retrievers (he will eventually adopt one of these animals, if not both), and spending time with family and friends.