Read Lara's new publication about fostering collaborations in psychology!

Check it out here.

Check out this article featuring Lara on "How sharing your science in an opinion piece can boost your career".

Read it here!

Congratulations to Tiara for giving an insightful TEDxSFU Talk on Nov. 11th at the Vancouver Centre for Performing Arts!

In her talk, "Unmasking Mindfulness", she discussed the journey of pursuing mindful living and equitable well-being. You can find more information here. Stay tuned for details on where you can watch a recording of her talk. We are so proud and happy for you, Tiara! 

A huge congratulations to Lara for becoming an SPSP Fellow!

SPSP Fellowship recognizes psychologists who have made significant and longstanding contributions to SPSP and the field of Personality and Social Psychology. This is so well-deserved, Lara!

Read this new article on how mood can influence generosity featuring Lara.

Check it out here

Congratulations to Tiara for receving the Dean's Convocation Medal!

This medal recognizes graduating students from each faculty whose cumulative grade point average places them in the top five per cent of their class. Check out her research profile here. We are so proud of you, Tiara!

Congratulations to Jason for publishing his first Op-Ed!

Jason discusses his PhD work about how bringing different generations together can support our mental well-being. Read it here. Way to go, Jason!

Congratulations to Jan for receiving the Lorne M. Kendall Memorial Award!

The Lorne Kendall Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 1977 as a memorial to Dr. Lorne M. Kendall, in recognition of his role as the founding head of the Psychology Department at SFU and for the significant contributions Dr. Kendall made to the measurement of behaviour in applied settings. The award is granted to undergraduate students who best exemplify Dr. Kendall's approach to psychology.

SEVERAL of our lab members were featured on podcasts recently! Check them out:

Jason's feature on the Charity Professional Development Company Podcast: Can Collaborative Giving Boost Generosity?

How does our enjoyment of giving to charity change in the short and long term? Does giving with others increase our enjoyment of giving and generosity? Could collaborative giving increase lifetime generosity? Should your charity invest in encouraging supporters to give collaboratively? Jason shares insights from his work on his collaborative giving work. Listen on Youtube or Spotify!

Anurada's feature on the SFU Psychology Podcast: Gratitude, Prosocial Behaviour, and Honours Advice

In this episode, recent SFU Psychology graduate, Anurada Amarasekera shares with us a little about her honours thesis, which investigated the relationship between gratitude and prosocial behaviour. Anurada's research interests have focused on improving resilience and well being in traditionally underserved populations. She also shares her experiences from volunteering in our lab! 

Angie's feature on the SFU Psychology Podcast: Undergraduate Involvement with Angie Fan

Knowing what to do to enhance your undergraduate experience can be a challenging endeavour to embark on, especially fresh out of online learning. Angie Fan, recent SFU psychology alumni, shares her story about her involvement as an undergraduate. During her undergraduate career, Angie was a FASS peer mentor, research assistant, and honours student. Along with being a figure skating coach and choreographer, Angie is also the lab manager at Dr. Aknin's Helping and Happiness Lab.

Check out our lab members' presentations at #SPSP2023 in Atlanta!

Wed Feb 22nd
Anurada Amarasekera – Data Blitz at the Authenticity Pre-Conference (Virtual): “How well can people predict the authentic happiness of others?” 

Thurs Feb 23rd @ 2:30pm
Lara Aknin – 
Data Blitz at Happiness and Well-Being Preconference: "People are hesitant to reach out to old friends"
Tiara Cash – Poster Presentation at Happiness and Well-Being Preconference: "Examining whether prosociality predicts greater well-being during life transitions: Evidence from two pre-registered studies"

Sat Feb 25th @ 3:30pm
Jason Proulx
– Single Paper Talk (Main Conference): "Intergenerational connections and community well-being: A mixed methods, community-engaged project"

Congratulations to Lara for being selected for the 2022 SFU Emerging Thought Leader (ETL) Newsmaker Award.

Once a year, an outstanding member of the SFU community who has completed the Emerging Thought Leaders program and has excelled in generating earned media exposure and public awareness is awarded. Lara was selected for achieving significant media coverage in 2022, with over 700 mentions from news outlets such as Daily Mail, Today, Entrepreneur, and Euronews. This is so well deserved, congratulations!! Read the article, here.

Congratulations to our very own Jason Proulx for winning the CERi Award.

Jason has been awarded the Community Engaged Graduate Scholar Award as a result of his respectful, rigorous, and mixed method research with the Intergenerational Classroom. We are so proud of you!

Check out this new article on empty nester syndrome featuring our lab.

Give it a read, here

Dr. Lara Aknin and Dr. Elizabeth Dunn describe how and why it’s important to share findings with a broad audience through Op-Eds and public outreach in the latest edition of the APS Observer.

Learn more, here!

Lara's new op-ed, "Acts of kindness did not decline during the pandemic. In fact, they have risen", is out now!  

Check it out, here.

Congratulations to Angie for winning the Crocker Family Award!  

This award recognizes and provides funding to a 4th-year undergraduate student studying Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, or Biological Psychology, based on a nomination from the psychology department. Well done!

A big congratulations to Marina Cummiskey for being awarded the 2022 Dean's Convocation Medal! This award recognizes academic excellence and students who are at the top of the graduating class.  

This award recognizes academic excellence and students who are at the top of their graduating class. We are so proud of you, Marina!

Congratulations to Angie and Anurada for successfully defending their honours theses!

Way to go!

Congratulations to Nava and Zohra for their grad school acceptances!

Nava will be doing her Masters of Education in the Counselling Psychology Program at UBC and Zohra will be doing a Masters in Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis. We are so proud of you both!

Congratulations to Anurada and Angie for presenting at the 2022 SFU Undergraduate Research Symposium. 

You can view their posters in person on the 7th floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library until April 14th, 2022. 

Big congratulations to Jason for the publication of his MA work!

Read his paper, "Let’s Give Together: Can Collaborative Giving Boost Generosity?", here. An incredible accomplishment!

New article featuring Lara's research on prosociality in toddlers.

Check out this new article from CNBC, "Why manners matter: Top tips for raising kind kids", here!

Congratulations to Zohra!

Congratulations to Zohra for being awarded a travel award for SPSP from the University of Houston!

New article featuring Lara's research.

Check out this new article, "How to get more joy while giving to good causes", here!

Congratulations, Jason!

Congratulations to Jason on being accepted as a speaker and poster presenter at the 2022 Society of Personality and Social Psychology Conference!

Congratulations, Anurada, Angie, and Burdett!

Congratulations to honours students, Anurada and Angie on their poster acceptances to the Happiness and Well-being Preconference and to Burdett for his undergraduate poster acceptence at the 2022 Society of Personality and Social Psychology Conference. Great job!

Congratulations to Tiara for the Emerging Scholar Award!

Tiara was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award by the 13th Annual Sport and Society Conference. Only a small number of Emerging Scholar Awards are given to outstanding early-career scholars or graduate students. So well deserved!

Congratulations, Zohra!

Congratulations to Zohra on her poster acceptance at the 2022 Society of Personality and Social Psychology Conference. Way to go!

Lara will be presenting at the IPPA Idea Starter Symposium on October 30th!

Check this page out for more details and registration. 

Lara will be presenting her keynote talk,“Mental health and well-being during the first year of COVID-19”, at Carleton University on October 7th!

For Psychology Mental Health Day, Lara will be sharing the findings from the first Lancet COVID-19 Commission on mental health and well-being under COVID-19. See this page for more details and registration.

Tiara to speak at SFU's PSYC Grad School 101 on October 5th. 

Thinking about graduate school in Psychology? Curious about what it's like and if it's right for you? Get your questions answered at this online event designed to help you learn more about graduate school in Psychology! See this page for more information and to register for the event!

Jason awarded a 2021 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada!

Congratulations to Jason for having been selected as a Vanier Scholar! This prestigious scholarship recognizes outstanding scholars who have demonstrated exceptional leadership through their research. Take a look at the news release, "Government of Canada invests in the next generation of world-class scientists" and Jason's Ph.D. Student Profile featured on SFU. #VanierCanada

Congratulations to Lara for winning the 2021 Barry Beyerstein Award for Excellence in Teaching!

Based on nominations from students, this award is given annually to recognize excellent teaching of regular faculty. Take a look at the article here, "Lara Aknin awarded 2021 Barry Beyerstein Award for Excellence in Teaching". So well deserved!

Congratulations to lab research assistant, Alyssa, for her first publication!

Congratulations to Alyssa for the release of her first publication with her collaborators, Dr. Ali Zenter and Dr. Lori A. Brotto at the UBC Sexual Health Lab, Comparison of Medical Management versus Bariatric Surgery for Obesity Management: Effects on Sexual Function, in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. Great work, Alyssa!

Congratulations, Jason!

Congratulations to Jason for winning the CPA Certificate Excellence for his MA thesis, so well deserved!

Congratulations, Tiara!

A big congratulations to Tiara and her collaborators for their publication of TWO papers, Equitable Mindfulness: A Framework for Transformative Conversations in Higher Education, in the Building Healthy Academic Communities Journal and Translating the Phenomena of Student-Athlete Retirement, in the International Journal of Sport and Society! Incredible work, Tiara!

Congratulations, Cassidy!

A huge congratulations to lab honours student, Cassidy Ouldtata-Allan, for having won the Batchelor Award for her outstanding honours work and service. Way to go, Cassidy!

Congratulations to lab Honours student, Cassidy Ouldtata-Allan, on the successful defence of her Honours Thesis today! Way to go, Cassidy!

Register at this link for Old Understandings for a New World: Rooting Mental Health in Care and Equity, an online discussion about mental health and decolonial approaches to care and equity hosted and moderated by the lab's own Tiara Cash!

The event takes place May 5th at 3pm PST. See this page for more information. 

Directed Studies student, Armaghan Aliabadi, will be presenting her project at our next lab meeting on April 15. 

Come check it out!

Honours student, Cassidy Ouldtata-Allan, will be presenting her thesis work at the Social Area Seminar on Friday, April 9 and at her defence on April 27. 

Good luck, Cassidy!

Emily Thornton receives SSHRC funding to pursue her Master's research at the University of Guelph!

Way to go, Emi!!

Since Summer 2020, Dr. Aknin has been chairing the Lancet’s COVID-19 Mental Health Task Force. Read about her experience and some of the key findings here.

Read the full article here: Lancet COVID-19 Commission Releases First Report on Pandemic Consequences on Mental Health (

Dr. Aknin discusses how COVID-19 has impacted various facets of mental health in today's Vancouver Sun.

Read the full article here:"

Way to go, Cassidy!

Congratulations to honours student, Cassidy Ouldtata-Allan, on the acceptance of her talk, Can giving to charity with a peer foster positive shared emotion to help build social bonds?, at SFU's 2021 Undergraduate Student Research Symposium! Congratulations, Cassidy!

Congratulations, Angie!

Congratulations to Directed Studies student, Angie Fan, on the acceptance of her talk, Fostering joy in sport with Play Better: How coaches can support youth’s basic psychological needs by rewarding skill development with charitable donations, at SFU's 2021 Undergraduate Student Research Symposium! Way to go, Angie!

Tiara Cash Featured Profile

Please see this link for Helping and Happiness Lab grad student, Tiara Cash, in her featured profile on SFU Psychology's Instagram. 

Way to go, Angie!

Congratulations to Directed Studies student, Angie, for her poster having been accepted at the Society of Personality and Social Psychology's 2021 Happiness and Wellbeing Preconference! Way to go, Angie!

Congratulations, Tiara!

A huge congratulations to Tiara for having been awarded the Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship this year!! Read her profile in celebration of this award here

Congratulations, Dylan and Lara!

Congratulations to Dylan, Lara, and their collaborators (Drs. Mercier, Piff, and Shariff) for the publication of their new paper, Recognizing the Impacct of COVID-19 on the Poor Alters Attitudes Towards Poverty and Inequality, in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology! You can also see news coverage of this paper in PsyPost here.

A huge congratulations to Jason for the acceptance of his talk, Can giving to charity with a peer forge social bonds, at SPSP 2021!

Congratulations, Emi, Tiara, Jason, and Lara!

Congratulations to Emi, Tiara, Jason, Lara and their collaborators (Ms. Albert and Dr. Helliwell) for the acceptance of their poster, The Intergenerational Classroom (iGen): Can cross-generational interactions enrich social capital, well-being, and prosociality in youth?, at the 2021 Virtual Annual Convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

On October 26, Lara's will be presenting at Princeton's Social Area Seminar!

Feel free to join us!  

Congratulations to Lara for being invited to be a member of the 2020 Lancet COVID-19 Commission!

For more information, visit this link.  

On August 20th, join us for Lara's CPPA presentation!

On Aug. 20, Lara will be presenting a virtual talk to the Canadian Positive Psychology Association! Feel free to join us here.  

Jason selected for Community Engaged Research Initiative (CERi's) Graduate Fellowship!

A huge congratulations to Helping and Happiness Lab graduate student, Jason Proulx, for having been selected for the Community Engaged Research Initiative Graduate Fellowship!

A huge congratulations to Helping and Happiness Lab graduate student, Jason Proulx, for having successfully defended his MA thesis! Way to go, Jason!! 

Congratulations again, Emi and Dylan!

Fantastic coverage of our lab alumni – former honour student, Emily Thornton, and PhD student, Dr. Dylan Wiwad – on their 2020 convocation medals. We are so proud of you both!

Congratulations, Jason!

Congratulations to Jason Roh for being admitted into the Master’s of Occupational Therapy program at Western University! Congratulations on this major accomplishment!

Congratulations, Emi and Lara!

Congratulations to Emi and Lara for their recent publication of Emi's honours thesis in Plos One; Assessing the validity of the Self versus Other Interest Implicit Association Test!

On May 27th, join us online for Lara's presentation at the Annual General Meeting!

Join us, and 300+ SFU alumni, online for SFU's Annual General Meeting, where Lara will be presenting about the lab's research! Learn more and RSVP for the event here

Emily Thornton receives the Dean's Convocation Medal!

Congratulations to former honours student and current lab manager, Emily Thornton, on receiving one of this year's Dean's Convocation Medals. This award recognizes students with outstanding academic records and exceptional service to the university. We are so proud of your stellar contributions and so grateful to have you in the lab. Way to go, Emi!

Congratulations, Dylan!!

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Helping and Happiness Lab alumni Dr. Dylan Wiwad, who received one of SFU's Dean's Convocation Medals for his dissertation work this past year. Extremely well-deserved, Dr. Wiwad - and way to go!!

SFU Psychology Instagram Spotlight

Jason shares his well-being tips for navigating the COVID-19 crisis - gratitude, meditation, and "distant socializing." Check out the instagram post!

New Op-Ed

Former graduate student, Dylan Wiwad, along with Dr. Piff and Dr. Aknin discuss how the Coronavirus crisis may help Americans remember that economic inequality is not fair or just.

Congratulations, Jessamyn!

Huge congratulations to Helping & Happiness Lab alumni Jessamyn Hung on receiving SSHRC funding for their Masters in Counselling Psychology! We're so proud of them and can't wait to see what they do next!

Congratulations, John!

Huge congratulations to Helping & Happiness Lab alumni John Tolentino on being accepted into the Masters of Social Work (Clinical Focus) program at Wilfrid Laurier University

Congratulations, Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for having her research featured in Washington Post's article on prosocial behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read it here!

Staying Positive and Resilient

We're all staying at home and social distancing during COVID-19! Here are some tips from Lara on how to stay sane and happy!

Welcome, Tiara!

Please welcome Lara's new graduate student, Tiara Cash, to the Helping and Happiness Lab! 

New Lab Publication!

Congratulations to lab alumnus, Dylan Wiwad, and Lara Aknin for Dylan's dissertation work, Shifting attributions for poverty motivates opposition to inequality and enhances egalitarianism, being published in Nature Human Behaviour today!

Undergraduate Research Symposium: March 24th

Helping and Happiness Lab project manager, Nava Kasiri, and lab manager, Emily Thornton, will be presenting their research at SFU's Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on March 24th. Feel free to stop by to hear their presentations!

Congratulations, Connor! 

Congratulations to Helping and Happiness Lab project manager, Connor MacMillan, for having been accepted into an MA program for Sociology! Congratulations, Connor!

Congratulations, Angela!

Congratulations to Helping and Happiness Lab research assistant, Angela Starnaman, who took home top honours in the 3rd Annual 2019 Student Learning Commons (SLC) Writing Contest!

SPSP Practice Presentations!

Please join us for Jason and Emily's SPSP 2020 practice presentations at the Helping and Happiness Lab meeting on Wednesday, February 12th, as well as the Social Area Meeting on Friday, February 14th!

Congratulations, Emi!

Congratulations to lab manager, Emily Thornton, who will be presenting her poster "Do donations pay off? Examining the impact of real-world donations on life satisfaction in a sample of 5,000 Americans" at the Happiness and Well-Being Pre-Conference at SPSP 2020 in New Orleans! 

Congratulations, Jason!

Congratulations to masters student, Jason Proulx, who will be presenting a data blitz talk titled "Does spending money on others promote happiness? A Registered Replication Report." as well as his poster "Does collaborative giving boost generosity?" at SPSP 2020 in New Orleans!

Congratulations, Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for being awarded the title of Distinguished SFU Associate Professor of Psychology, a designation which recognizes professors who have achieved exceptional performance and distinguished accomplishments relative to their rank and years of service.

Congratulations, Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for winning the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s SAGE Young Scholars Award!!

Congratulations, Lara!

Congratulations to Lara, who was invited to be the graduand marshal at the SFU Psychology Department convocation on October 10, 2019!

Congratulations, Dr. Wiwad!

Congratulations to Dr. Dylan Wiwad, who defended his dissertation on June 24th, 2019 and passed with minor revisions! Way to go, Dylan!!

Congratulations, Emi!

Congratulations to honours student Emily Thornton for receiving the Lorne M. Kendall Memorial Award as well as the Psychology Alumni Honours Award for her honours project!

Congratulations, Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for her paper, titled Buying well-being: Spending behaviour and happiness, being one of the Social and Personality Psychology Compass’ top downloaded papers!

Way to go, Jessamyn!

Congratulations to honours student Jessamyn Hung for her acceptance into the SFU Masters of Counselling Psychology program. Congratulations, Jessamyn!!

Way to go, Emi!

Congratulations to honours student, Emily Thornton, who did a stellar job presenting her thesis research and answering questions at the SFU Undergraduate Research Symposium on March 26, 2019!

Congratulations to Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for her new role as associate editor of the World Happiness Report!

Congratulations to Dylan!

A huge congratulations to Dylan for accepting a post doctoral position at the Dispute Resolution and Research Center at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Business School next year!! Congratulations, Dylan!

Congratulations to Kate and Lara!

Congratulations to Kate and Lara for winning a Pre-registration Challenge Prize from the Centre for Open Science!

Congratulations to Emily and Jessamyn!

Congratulations to Jessamyn Hung and Emily Thornton, the lab’s two honours students, who will be presenting their work at the Happiness and Well-Being Pre-Conference at SPSP 2019 in Portland! Well done!!

Congratulations to Lara, Dylan, and Kate!

Congratulations to Lara, Dylan, and Kate on their recently published article,
Buying well-being: Spending behavior and happiness. Click on the title to check it out!

The do’s and don’ts of holiday gift shopping!

Here’s a link to The Best (and Worst) Holiday Gifts, According to Science providing research studies that illustrate the four types of gifts that you should give this year – and three that you shouldn’t!

Congratulations to Kate!

Congratulations to Kate on her acceptance of data blitz talk at SPSP! She’ll be sharing new work at the Happiness and Well-Being SPSP Preconference in Atlanta, GA this March.

Way to go, Kate!

Congratulations to Lara!

Congratulations to Lara for winning the Veenhoven Award 2017! Dr. Lara Aknin will be presenting “From wealth to well-being: Spending money on others promotes happiness” at the award ceremony on November 28th, 2017 at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Here’s a link to the announcement: Dr. Lara Aknin winner of the Veenhoven Award 2017

Congratulations to Dylan!

Congratulations to Dylan on his new paper “Self-focused Motives Undermine the Emotional Rewards of Recalled Prosocial Behavior”! Here’s a link to the pre-print:

Congratulations to Kate! 

Congratulations to Kate for winning a travel award to SPSP!

Congratulations to Dylan!

Congratulations to Dylan for his symposium on Inequality accepted at SPSP 2018!

Lara’s recently published paper:

Come listen!

Dr. Aknin will be giving the convocation address at this year’s Fall graduation!

Come Listen!

Dr. Lara Aknin’s Talk “Money Can Buy Happiness if You Spend it on Others” is at the United Way Conference.
September 21, 2017 in Downtown Vancouver.

Congratulations to Lara!

Congratulations to Dr. Lara Aknin for being nominated as a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology!

Congratulations to Kate!

Congratulations to Kate Hanniball for successfully defending her Master’s thesis on June 7, 2017! Way to go, Kate!

Congratulations to Dylan!

Congratulations to Dylan Wiwad for winning the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the Council of Canadian Departments of Psychology (CCDP)!

Social Psychology Mini-Conference
March 30, 2017

Poster Presentations: Monique Austria, Michelle Hui, Jessamyn Hung, Linda Magyari, John Tolentino, Caileigh Wilson and Jacqueline Yip

Way to go, Angie!

Congratulations to Directed Studies student, Angie, for her poster having been accepted at the Society of Personality and Social Psychology's 2021 Happiness and Wellbeing Preconference! Way to go, Angie!