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Ahra Ko

Grad Research Associate
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1104
Student Information:
Graduate Student
Psychology
The College of Lib Arts & Sci

Biography: 

Ahra Ko is a social psychologist, working in the Neuberg Lab and Evolutionary Social Cognition (Kenrick - Neuberg - Becker) Lab under the guidance of Dr. Steven L. Neuberg. Her research focuses on the interplay between emotion, motivation, and social cognition. Her research explores (1) the function of life satisfaction, (2) the role of fundamental social motives, (3) how ecology interacts with social cognition, and (4) the science of mating motives and mate value. From evolutionary functional approach, she has examined how life satisfaction is calibrated to how well one is moving toward achieving success on psychologically active, fundamentally important goals. She has also examined theoretical and empirical reasons why people prioritize social goals related to long-term familial bonds (i.e., maintaining a long-term/committed relationship, taking care of family) over mating goals, analyzing data from 27 countries. 

Ko is a graduate of Yonsei University, where she received both her MA and BA degrees. She also studied as an exchange student at the University of California, San Diego where she received Provost Honors in 2013. 

Education: 

 

Yonsei University

2015 - 2017​

 

University of California, San Diego

2013 

  • Exchange Student

  • Psychology and Cognitive Science

  • Provost Honors

 

Yonsei University

2011 - 2015​

  • B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science

Research Interests: 

Ahra’s research focuses on the interplay between emotion, motivation, and social cognition. Her research explores (1) the function of life satisfaction, (2) the role of fundamental social motives, (3) how ecology interacts with social cognition, and (4) the science of mating motives and mate value. From evolutionary functional approach, she has examined how life satisfaction is calibrated to how well one is moving toward achieving success on psychologically active, fundamentally important goals. She has also examined theoretical and empirical reasons why people prioritize social goals related to long-term familial bonds (i.e., maintaining a long-term/committed relationship, taking care of family) over mating goals, analyzing data from 27 countries.

Publications: 

Ko, A., Pick, C. M., Kwon, J., Barlev, M., Krems, J. A., Varnum, M. E. W., … & Kenrick, D. T. (in press). Family matters: Rethinking the psychology of human social motivation. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 

Ko, A., & Suh, E. M. (2019). Does physical attractiveness buy happiness? Women’s mating motivation and happiness. Motivation and Emotion43(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-018-9717-z

Becker, D. V., Rheem, H., Pick, C. M., Ko, A., & Lafko, S. R. (2019). Angry faces hold attention: Evidence of attentional adhesion in two paradigms. Progress in brain research, 247, 89-110. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2019.03.033

Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology
Expertise Areas: