Introducing our Spotlight series! Andrew Ward

The DiSH Lab is so fortunate to collaborate with an awesome group of faculty and students from around the world and various disciplines. We want our readers to get to know them too through mini Q & A’s! To start it off, here is our spotlight on Dr. Andrew Ward:

Dr. Ward is the chair of of Swarthmore College’s Psychology Department. He is a long-time friend and collaborator of Dr. T’s graduate mentor Traci Mann and we have been lucky to have him in the DiSH Lab during his sabbatical this year at UCLA. This summer, Dr. Ward will share his superb teaching skills with the UCLA community as he will be teaching Social Psychology!

Andrew brighter


1. What is the overall topic/theme that your research addresses?

My primary area of research is on the topic of self-control and the role played by attention in self-regulatory processes. My longtime collaborator, Traci Mann (formerly a faculty member at UCLA, now at the University of Minnesota), and I have explored the implications of limits on attention for individuals’ attempts to control their behavior in a number of domains, including eating, smoking, and aggression. [Stay tuned for a spotlight on Traci!]

2. Tell us about an exciting project you are working on right now.

Currently I am collaborating with DiSH lab members Janet Tomiyama and Angela Belsky on two exciting projects — one looking at the role of SES in dietary food choices and one on negative perceptions of overweight individuals.

3. What is your favorite paper you have ever written?

I’m fond of Ward & Mann, 2000 (JPSP), “Don’t Mind If I Do: Disinhibited Eating Under Cognitive Load,” because it was the paper in which Traci and I first introduced our attentional model of self-control (and because it was the only paper for which I didn’t have to battle reviewers and editors to the death to get published).

4. Is there a particular finding/paper/researcher that really inspired your line of research?

Claude Steele’s work on what he and his collaborators termed alcohol myopia inspired my research on attention and self-control.  Indeed, as an homage, Traci and I called our model attentional myopia.

5. Since we are all foodies here, what is your favorite comfort food?

Bread, mashed potatoes, chili — pretty much anything with carbs.


Stay tuned for more spotlights on the DiSH Lab’s collaborators.