Photo Submitted/Story by Rob Rombouts
Kasey Stanton is joining the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor in July 2018. Stanton completed his PhD at the University of Notre Dame, and is completing a Clinical Psychology Internship at the Brown University Alpert School of Medicine.
Stanton researches potential negative effects of positive moods, specifically looking at excessive levels of positive moods.
“This is most relevant to the study of conditions such as narcissism and bipolar disorder, as individuals with these conditions often have overly positive self-views that contribute to poor decision making and interpersonal difficulties,” said Stanton.
Stanton hopes his research will help improve diagnosis of narcissism and bipolar disorder.
“Unfortunately, with our current methods of diagnosis and clinical practice, individuals presenting for treatment often meet criteria for many different diagnoses. Relatedly, clinicians also have difficulty reliably identifying which diagnoses best capture a patient’s presenting symptoms,” Stanton. Without a clear test, misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder can occur, leading to patients unnecessarily taking mood stabilizing medications.
“Many clinical psychology researchers have pushed for simpler, empirically-based diagnostic conceptualizations to replace our current diagnostic systems,” said Stanton. “I hope that my research will contribute to these efforts.”
Stanton also researches how people view those with excessive positive moods. One recent article showed that for the most part, clinicians do not view individuals who are outwardly arrogant and entitled as also being insecure. However, another study indicated that non-clinicians generally believe that narcissistic individuals are boastful and arrogant because they are trying to “mask” feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Stanton plans to investigate these differences further.
Stanton looks forward to working in the “collegial, supportive environment he sees at Western.”
“It was clear that the Department of Psychology was invested in promoting cutting-edge, trans-diagnostic research given the job description and their commitment to build upon their already impressive research reputation by bringing in multiple new hires,” said Stanton.