New psychology professor teaches students to challenge the status quo
New psychology professor, Chrissy Lackner believes the study of psychology is one of the most applicable disciplines to real-life. “Life is messy and different people have different experiences that lead them to behave in certain ways. Studying psychology offers a lens into who you are and gives insight into the people you love – what makes people tick.”
One of the collaborations Chrissy speaks of is with Dr. Karen Milligan at Ryerson University and her fellow researchers at the Child Development Institute. Chrissy has been working closely with Dr. Milligan to evaluate the effectiveness of a mindfulness martial arts program for children who have ADHD and a co-morbid learning disability. Data collection is still ongoing, however, Chrissy is finding the results promising.
“I like to bring the perspective that it is not all just nature over nurture. I like courses where I can fundamentally change the way people view the discipline and when I can pull them over to consider a different side.”
— Dr. Chrissy Lackner, Department of Psychology
Breaking ground in research on self-regulation in children and youth
Closer to home, Chrissy’s research has a direct impact when training students and opening their eyes to the possibilities of research and breaking down the deterministic facets of neuroscience and psychology. More broadly, her research contributes to an understanding of why some youth struggle more than others and the predictors behind it. On a practical level, her work helps to inform the works of clinicians who are developing youth intervention programs.
Dispelling myths about neuroscience, biology and the approach to understanding behaviour is something Chrissy feels passionate about incorporating into the classroom. “I like to bring the perspective that it is not all just nature over nurture. I like courses where I can fundamentally change the way people view the discipline and when I can pull them over to consider a different side.”
When asked about what advice she would give to her students, she says, “Find joy in what you do and don’t be afraid of hard work. The more you try to engage with the material you are learning the better.”
And Chrissy is no stranger to hard work herself. She completed her Master’s in Psychology at Queens University in 2009 and a PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience at Brock University in 2015. “Some of the most rewarding classes I have taken I have had to put in the most work. I would tell students not to be afraid of a challenge, because it will pay off.”
Although she has many years left in her career, Chrissy is committed to leaving a legacy. “I’m affecting the future of the discipline by training the people who will carry the field forward. It’s rewarding to know that you have had some impact in shaping ideas, and in my own research, which has an impact on psychological thought.”