Research in Arts and Sciences
Social Sciences Faculty
Associate Professor, Psychology
Heide’s research is broad-based. Her studies have largely focused on comparative self control—what environmental factors influence impulsive behavior both among human and nonhuman animals: time, daily energy, resources, etc. “I am interested in risk-sensitivity and how that might change from a risk-averse responder to a risk-prone responder depending upon the environmental triggers like resource dearth, caloric loss, or depressed energy level,” she says.
Currently, she is working with three other collaborators on “the implementation of a psychometric instrument inspired by what we know about our neurochemistry, the goal is to accurately match people who are looking for long-term romantic relationships.”
Island also has prospects in writing a non-academic book on the institutions in place, both economic and cultural, that shape a couple's decision to become parents. “Specifically,” she states, “I am interested in the life satisfaction, economic health, and familial relationships among dual-income couples (both traditional and nontraditional) who choose not to have children and how we as a culture treat these couples.”
Professor of Anthropology.
One important reason I chose anthropology is the disciplinary methodology that is implicated in its practice. In our field the key research tool is participant observation. What this means is that we explore the lived experience of our informants, doing long-term research, living in the field, and then, leaving the field, we write ethnographies about that experience. Such information is critical when applied to health care delivery, public health issues, issues of economic equality, marketing products that are useful to consumers, and government policies, both domestic and international. Being a social anthropologist has allowed me to travel the world, and to be touched and humbled by the people I have had the good fortune to meet and live beside. If this sort of experience is attractive to you, please join us in anthropology.
Assistant Professor, Sociology