Stanford University



Gabriella Harari, Founding Director, Assistant Professor of Communication

Harari’s research examines how personality is expressed in physical and digital contexts in everyday life. More specifically, she examines what digital media technologies, and smartphones in particular, reveal about people’s behavioral patterns and psychological states.

In her current work, she examines individual differences in socializing behaviors (e.g., texting, calling, using social media apps, in-person conversations), and links these behavioral patterns to psychological characteristics (e.g., personality traits) and life outcomes (e.g., well-being). She is also studying whether smartphone-based self-tracking of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can promote self-insight and positive changes in behavior.



Chawannuch (Friend) Chaikulngamdee

Chawannuch (Friend) Chaikulngamdee, Lab Manager

Chaikulngamdee is interested in studying the relationship between digital media use and child development. She is specifically interested in how technology can be used to encourage children to become more culturally aware and empathetic individuals.

Postdoctoral Researchers

Clemens Stachl

Clemens Stachl, Postdoctoral Researcher


Stachl is a Postdoc researcher specialized in research methodology, behavior, and personality. In his research he uses digital records from consumer electronics and machine learning to draw inferences about psychological traits and behavior. Currently, he works on an algorithm to predict personality traits from smartphone-derived behavioral records. In addition to empirical work, he is interested in topics of interpretable AI and promotes open science practices.

Graduate Students

Ruth Appel, PhD Student

Appel is a PhD student and Stanford Graduate Fellow specializing in Media Psychology at the Stanford University Department of Communication. She is interested in the intersection of Behavioral Science and Computer Science, with the aim of leveraging psychological targeting ethically and for the common good. She is particularly passionate about encouraging prosocial behavior and political participation as well as promoting wellbeing and mental health. She loves travelling, running and meditating.

Katie Roehrick

Katie Roehrick, PhD Student

Roehrick is a Stanford Graduate Fellow and PhD candidate in the Department of Communication. She uses computational and linguistic analysis to study human-computer interaction, technology use, and wellbeing.

Sumer Vaid

Sumer Vaid, PhD Student

Vaid researches how digital technologies and human minds interface with each other. Current interests and projects include: digitized self-tracking using passive sensing personal informatics systems, investigating how psychological traits relate to the use of multiple social media platforms and modelling personality traits from digital reside data using machine learning techniques. He is also interested in philosophical issues concerning the mind, media and communication processes in general.

Undergraduate Students

Grace Dong

Grace Dong, Senior

Dong is a senior majoring in Symbolic Systems with a concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. She is interested in authenticity and self-presentation on social media platforms and user interface/user experience design. 


  • Sandrine Müller, Visiting scholar
  • Katie Dudley, Undergraduate research assistant
  • Daryth Gayles, Undergraduate research assistant
  • Gabrielle Gayles, Undergraduate research assistant