Daniel R. Berry, Ph.D.
I joined the psychology faculty at California State University San Marcos in the fall of 2017 after completing my Ph.D. in General Experimental Psychology
(social concentration) at Virginia Commonwealth University. My program of research
broadly focuses on how people respond to others in need and show kindness to one another.
Specifically, I adopt a multimethod social cognitive and affective (neuro)science approach to examine the role of attention and deliberate cognitive processes (e.g.,
mindfulness meditation) in enhancing empathy and kindness. Alongside neuroscientific
techniques, our lab uses diary measures and lab-based simulations to capture social
behaviors in everyday life, and self-report methodologies.
- Check out the "SAP Lab" tab to learn more about our program of research.
- If you'd like to join the SAP Lab please check out the "People" tab to fill out an
- Dr. Berry does not plan to interview prospective MA students for Fall 2022 enrollment
2017 - Ph.D., General Experimental Psychology (social concentration), Virginia Commonwealth University (Dissertation)
2011 - M.A., Experimental Psychology, East Tennessee State University (Thesis)
2008 - B.S., Psychology, Christopher Newport University
Research Lab information coming soon.
course titles are hyperlinks to most recent syllabi
My Current CV
*denotes student trainee
Berry, D. R., *Wall, C. S. J., *Tubbs, J. D., Zeidan, F., & Brown, K. W., (in press). Short-term training in mindfulness predicts helping behavior toward racial ingroup
and outgroup members. Social Psychological and Personality Science. [IF: 4.51] (supplemental file)
Berry, D. R., *Hoerr, J. P., *Cesko, S., *Alayoubi, A., *Carpio, K., *Zirzow, H.,
*Walters, W., *Scram, G., *Rodriguez, K., *Beaver, V. (2020). Does mindfulness training without explicit ethics-based instruction promote prosocial
behaviors? A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 46(8), 1247-1269. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167219900418 [IF: 4.38]
- Press on Berry et al. (2020): PsyPost
Klein, R. A., Vianello, M., Hasselman, F., Adams, B. G., Adamns, R. B., Alper, S...(13th
Author) Berry, D. R....Nosek, B. A., (2018). Many Labs 2: Investigating Variability in Replicability across Samples and Settings. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Sciences, 1(4), 443-490. https://doi.org/10.1177/2515245918810225 [New Journal, No IF]
Berry, D. R., Cairo, A. H., Goodman, R. J., Quaglia, J. T., Green, J. D., & Brown,
K. W. (2018). Mindfulness increases prosocial responses toward ostracized strangers through empathic
concern. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 147(1), 93-112. doi: 10.1037/xge0000392 [IF: 4.91]
Berry D. R., & Brown, K. W. (2017). Transcending separateness with presence: How mindfulness catalyzes intergroup harmony. In J. C. T. M. Karremans & E. Papies (eds.). Handbook of Mindfulness in Social Psychology. NY: Routledge
Brown, K. W., Berry, D. R., & Quaglia, J. T. (2016). The hypo-egoic expression of
mindfulness in interpersonal life. In K. W. Brown & M. R. Leary (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Hypo-egoic Processes. NY: Oxford University Press.
Welcome to the Social and Affective Psychophysiology Lab!
Our research program: Perspectives on the motivated naure of empathy and prosocial behavior are key to understanding
the role of focused attention in prosocial responsiveness. Others' suffering is often
painful to observe or may lead to cognitive, affective, or social costs for the self.
So people downregulate their empathic reponses to others, for example, by diverting
their attention away from empathy inducing stimuli or situations. Within this line
of inquiry our lab addresses three research questions.
What is the role of focused attention in prosocial cognition and behavior? Our lab has several ongoing projects to address this question. (1) We are examining
how empathy unfolds during the course of a social interaction through the lens of
event-related potentials (an EEG marker). Research assistants who are interested
in this project will receive training in establishing and monitoring high quality
EEG recording, deliver and design experimental protocols, and design computer software
paradigms to elicit brain responses. (2) Our lab is interested in individual differences
in life experiences with suffering and how this relates to upregulation or downregulation
of empathy. (3) We also conduct several experiments on self-regulation technique in
focused attention called mindfulness meditation. These latter two research questions
are addressed via experiments conducted remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and
research assistants will receive training in delivery and design of experimental protocols
and recruiting participants.
- Can mindfulness enhance intergroup empathy? People often downregulate their empathy for and give less help to social outgroup
members in need than ingroup members. Our research program has several ongoing projects
that aim to address if and how a focused attention form of mindfulness meditation
can upregulate empathy toward social outgroup members (e.g., racial, ethnic, and political).
Research assistants who are interested in this line of inquiry will be trained on
delivering (remotely) and designing experimental protocols, as well as participant
- Improving research methods in the science of mindfulness. Research on mindfulness meditation has grown exponentially over the last 20 years,
and scientists are now beginning to test the potential of mindfulness to promote interpersonal
wellbeing outcomes. Our lab examines the quality of the science that is being conducted
on mindfulness and interpersonal wellbeing. Research assistants will be trained in
performing literature searches, coding empirical manuscripts, assessing risk of bias
in studies, and developing protocols for meta-science projects.
Research assistants and graduate students are included at all stages of the research
process. Dr. Berry encourages graduate students and research assistants to form their
own programmatic interests. Research questions on social cognitive and affective neuroscience,
prosocial emotion and behaviors, mindfulness training and other forms of deliberate
attention, intergroup processes, and meta-science are all encouraged!
The SAP Lab is fortunate to have a dedicated, hard-working research team, and we are
looking to expand! Scroll down for more details on applying to the lab, but first
read about our team.
- Larry Boman: Larry is a fourth-year Psychological Science MA student. He graduated with his BA
in Psychology from CSU Channel Islands. He is interested in existential psychology,
and is studying the effects of hypoegoic states on the deleterious cosequences of
- Jonathan Hoerr: Jonathan is a fourth-year Psychological Science MA student. He graduated with a BA
in Psychological Science from CSUSM in 2017. He is interested in studying whether
state mindfulness interacts with psychological traits to promote personal and social
- Katie Rodriguez: Katie is a second-year Psychological Science MA student. She earned her BA in Psychological
Science from CSUSM in Spring 2020. She is interested if structural manipulations that
support equity can amplify the effects of mindfulness on intergroup empathy.
- Kaylee Ryan: Kaylee is a first-year Psychologoical Science MA student. She earned her B.A. in Psychology
from the University of California, San Diego in 2020. She is interested in relationship
between mindfulness and pro-environmental behavior.
- Kiara Carmon: Kiara is a recent Psychology Science graduate from CSUSM. Her interests are in positive
psychology and she intends to build confidence and further refine her research skills
before applying to graduate school.
- Kate Delos Reyes: Kate is in her final semester at CSUSM and plans to pursue her Master's to become
- Danny Doyle: Danny is in his final semester of his bachelors in Psychological Science at CSUSM,
and plans to pursue graduate study in social psychology.
- Anna Espinoza: Fall 2021 is Anna's first semester in the SAP Lab.
- LaHiram Glenn: LaHiram is a Post-Baccalaureate student specializing in Pre-Health. She graduated
in Spring 2021 with a BA in Psychological Science from CSUSM. After completing her
post-bacc, she plans to go to medical school to train as a psychiatrist. Her alternative
plan is to get her PhD in Clinical Psychology so she can treat others who suffer from
mental illnesses. She is interested in multiple research areas such as social psychology,
cultural psychology, neuroscience, and mental illnesses. She hopes to gain research
experience through this lab and make meaningful connections along the way.
- Jessah Goldner: Jessah is a Psychological Science major, Biology minor, and a TRIO McNair Scholar
graduating in the Spring of 2022. She enjoys studying the brain and the neural mechanisms
that underlie behavior, namely neurobehavioral disorders. She plans on continuing
her research experience in the SAP Lab and working towards pursuing a Ph.D.
- Andrew Hong: Andrew is currently an undergraduate senior who plans to graduate in Fall 2021 with
a BA in Psychological Science. He plans on pursuing a PhD in Industrial and Organizational
(I/O) psychology after graduation.
- Andrea Resendiz: Andrea graduated from CSUSM in Fall 2020 with a BS in Kinesiology and a double minor
in Spanish and Psychological Science. She is planning to pursue her MA in Psychology
and eventually her PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience. She hopes to gain research experience
through the SAP Lab.
- Shaelyn Rusnak: Shaelyn is currently an undergraduate student earning her BA in Human Development
and minor in Psychology. She plans to continue on to graduate school to pursue a career
in Occupational Therapy.
- William Silvar: William earned his BA in Psychological Science from CSUSM in Fall 2020 and desires
to pursue a Ph.D in Neuroscience. His goal involves researching depression and anxiety
among the minority populations
- Brittany Stanek: Fall 2021 is Brittany's first semester in the SAP Lab.
- Karissa Tran: Karissa is a second-year student who plans to graduate in Spring 2024 with a BA in
Psychological Science. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology
upon graduating, allowing her to fulfill her long-term goal of having a career as
a clinical scientist who specializes in researching the treatment of anxiety as well
as obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.
- Adam Vernetti: Adam earned his BA in Psychological Science from CSUSM in 2021. He aspires to continue
his education in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology and severe
- Devanshi Upadhyaya: Devanshi is an international student entering her 4th year of undergraduate study
in Psychological Science. Upon graduation, she aims to pursue her master’s and eventually
a doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology. She has a keen interest in conducting
research in the field of Social Psychology and hopes to learn more about it at the
Former SAP Lab Trainees
- Amir Alayoubi: PhD Student, Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Neuroscience Program, Colorado State University
- Pearl Basaldua: MA student, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, University of San Diego
- Daniel Brock: MA Student, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, CSU San Bernardino
- Selena Cesko: M.Ed Student, Education, Colorado State University
- Rayanne Contrino: MSW Student, Arizona State University
- Catalina Kuenzi: PsyD Student, Alliant University School of Professional Psychology
- Anthony Musick: MA Student, Counseling, Pacifica
- Theresa Ngan Nguyen: MA student, Psychology, San Diego State University
- Itzia Plascencia: PsyD Student, Alliant University School of Professional Psychology
- Claudia Salzar: MA Student, Aging Services Management, University of Southern California, Leonard
Davis School of Gerontology
- Gin Tasulis: MA, Psychological Science at CSUSM; Lecturer CSUSM and Palomar College
- Kimber Thurman: BA, Psychological Science (Anthropology Minor)
- Gianni Voytilla: MA Student, Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University
- Wesley Walters: MS Student, Counseling Psychology, CSU East Bay
- Daisy Zavala: PhD Student, Social and Health Psychology, Stony Brook University
- Hannah Zirzow: JD Student, Gould School of Law, University of Southern California
- Daniel Bustamante, PhD. Student, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral
- Savannah Clements, Student, Teachers College of Columbia University
- Tyler Henderson, PhD Student, I-O Psychology, South Florida University
- Danielle Parada, PhD, 2020, Applied Developmental Psychology, George Mason University
- Paul E. Plonski, MA, 2018, Psychological Science, Northern Arizon University; PhD
Student, Social Psychology, Tufts University
- Caroline Smith, PhD Student, Anthropology, Washington State University
- Justin Tubbs, PhD Student, Behavioral Genetics and Biostatistics, University of Hong
- Donald Tweedie, MA, Human Factors, George Mason University
- Catherine Wall, PhD Student, Virginia Commonwealth University
Graduate Students: Dr. Berry generally accepts one or two graduate students each academic year. However,
he does not plan to interview graduate students for Fall 2022 entry into the MA program in Psychololgical Science. Qualities of a successful student include a commitment to conducting careful research
on one or more of the following topics: mindfulness, empathy, compassion, prosociality,
intergroup relations, social neuroscience, social threat. Background in EEG/ERP and
Matlab (or other programming language) is a plus! Prospective students may find this information about our graduate program helpful when applying. Please contact Dr. Berry directly
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about graduate study in the SAP Lab.
Research Assistants: The SAP Lab is committed to the education and training of undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students; we depend heavily upon your hard work
to complete lab studies. Our current research is focused on the role of deliberate
attention in empathy and kindness. We use a multimethod approach in the lab to research
these topics including EEG, behavioral, daily diary, and subjective responses. Getting
involved as a volunteer or PSYC 498/499 student is a great way to see if psychological
science is the right career path for you. As part of your training, we host workshops
to help you gain admission into psychology graduate programs, medical school, and
other professional training programs. The SAP Lab accepts new researchers each semester
and carries between 10 - 15 students in total. Each research assistant is given the
opportunity to help with 1 - 2 projects a semester, and are offered a variety of tasks
to choose from. Students can serve as experimenters, record and process psychophysiological
(EEG) data, code and analyze data, conduct literature searches and related tasks for
meta-analyses, and even design and lead their own studies. If you are interested in
the lab, please apply!.