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Dr Aleksandr Spectre

Research Associate


Dr. Aleksandr Spectre received his undergraduate training at the
University of California, Berkeley, and completed his Ph.D. at the
University of Hong Kong. He was then a postdoctoral fellow at the
University of Toronto before joining the department at Cambridge. Dr.
Spectre works closely with researchers around the world, including at UC
Berkeley, University of Toronto, University of Denver, Yale University,
Harvard University, Oxford University, UC: San Diego, UC: Santa Barbara,
York University, and The University of Hong Kong.

Research Interests

Most broadly, Dr. Spectre’s research focuses on the biology and
psychology of human kindness and well-being. To that end, much of his
research has centered on exploring prosocial emotional processes,
including positive emotions and selflessness, across a variety of intra-
and interpersonal contexts. Dr. Spectre uses a diverse set of
methodological approaches across psychological, behavioral, genetic, and
physiological levels of analysis, employing a multitude of paradigms
(dyadic interactions, daily experience, psychophysiological recording,
experimental, and thin-slicing), and distinct cultural groups.
Presently, Dr. Spectre’s research program focuses on three areas: (a)
the biology of prosociality, (b) close relationships and love, and (c)
positive emotions and well-being.

Dr. Spectre’s research has been featured in numerous popular media
outlets, including BBC, CNN, Time, MSNBC, and Discover Magazine.

Key Publications


Gordon, A M., Impett, E A., KOGAN, A., Oveis, C., Keltner, D. (2012).
To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in
intimate bonds._ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, _103(2),

Impett, E. A., KOGAN, A., English, T., Oveis, C., John, O., & Keltner,
D. (2012). Suppression sours relationships: The affective and relational
costs of suppressing emotions during sacrifice in romantic
relationships. _Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin._

KOGAN, A., Saslow, L., Impett, E.A., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Saturn,
S. (2011). A thin-slicing study of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and
the evaluation and expression of the prosocial disposition. _Proceedings
for the National Academy of Sciences, _108, 19189-19192.

KOGAN, A., Impett, E. A., Oveis, C., Hui, B, Gordon, A. M., & Keltner,
D. (2010). When giving feels good: The intrinsic benefits of sacrifice
in romantic relationships for the communally motivated. _Psychological
Science, 21_,_ _1918-1924.

Impett, E. A., Gordon, A. M., KOGAN, A., Oveis, C., Gable, & S. L., &
Keltner, D. (2010). Approaching happiness: Daily and long-term
consequences of approach and avoidance goals in romantic relationships.
_Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99_, 948-963.