Meet The Team

The Boredom Lab is a team of curious, engaged, and collaborative researchers. Take a look at our biographies to better understand who we are and our ongoing research projects.

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Eastwood

Dr. Eastwood is a Clinical Psychologist and an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at York University (Toronto, Canada) where he trains future psychologists and conducts research on the intersection between cognition and emotion.  He examineshow attention is allocated to affective and socially relevant information, the influence of mood and motivation on attention, and the affective consequences of attention failures. Dr. Eastwood seeks to better understand the feeling of thinking and how such feelings are an inextricable part of cognition. In particular, he studies how the feeling of boredom is associated with the unengaged mind. He recently obtained a research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canadato explore the cognitive mechanisms underlying boredom. In his clinical practice, Dr. Eastwood provides psychotherapy to adults struggling with anxiety, depression, and relationship problems (eastwoodpsychologists.com).

Graduate Students

Jennifer Hunter

Jennifer Hunter (MSW, MA – Clinical Psychology) is a senior PhD student in Dr. John Eastwood’s Boredom Lab. Her research focuses on boredom and creativity, and boredom in the post-secondary classroom. She defended her dissertation “Understanding the relation between boredom and achievement in post-secondary students” in December 2018, and plans to use her research to help educators and students more effectively address the warning signal of boredom when it emerges in the post-secondary classroom. Jennifer also teaches psychology and social work courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As an educator, Jennifer’s teaching philosophy is that learning occurs when students are interested and are enjoying wrestling with the course content. In September 2019, Jennifer will commence a 1 year internship at the Toronto Area Residency Consortium, providing psychological services to community members at the York University Psychology Clinic and to post-secondary students at Ryerson University’s Centre for Student Development and Counselling.

Adam Blake

Adam Blake is in the third year of his PhD in Clinical Psychology.  He is working on gaining a better understanding of the subjective experience of exerting ‘mental effort’.  He is currently in the process of developing a psychometrically sound scale to measure this experience.  His hope is that this scale will be clinically useful for individuals with attention difficulties and that it will contribute to the scientific understanding of attention.

Andrew Hunter

I am concurrently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology, and a diploma in Quantitative Methods at York University. My research areas include the cognitive underpinnings of boredom, the measurement of mental effort, multiplicity control and replication, affective forecasting, meaning, and judgment and decision making. As a Clinician, I have had the opportunity to use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Client-Centered Humanistic Therapy to address a wide range of presenting issues.

Rotem Petranker

Rotem has a BSc (Honours) in psychology with a minor in Buddhism, psychology, and mental health from the University of Toronto and an MA in social psychology from York University. He is interested in sustained attention, creativity, and the affective experience that accompanies both processes. Rotem also researches psychedelics with a focus on the practice of microdosing. He is particularly interested in developing sound methods for measuring constructs of interest and is a strong proponent of Open Science. Rotem recently founded and is the associate director of the Center for Psychedelic Studies at the University of Toronto (cps.radlab.zone)

Dana Gorelik

I received my Bachelor of Arts Honours at York University in 2017. Currently, I am completing the second year of my master’s degree in the clinical psychology program at York University. My research focuses on investigating the cognitive causes of trait boredom, as well as on revising and evaluating a new measure of trait boredom. For my master’s thesis, we developed a psychometrically sound measure of trait boredom. Armed with a strong measure, I am currently investigating the relationship between trait boredom and performance on executive function, processing speed and attention tasks in older and younger adults.

Veerpal Bambrah

Veerpal is in the Adult Stream Clinical Psychology program; she is also completing select courses in the Clinical Developmental stream as well as the Qualitative Methods Diploma to diversify and widen her clinical and research skills.  She is interested in further clarifying the concept of boredom propensity, particularly how it is similar or dissimilar to volitional (e.g., self-control), affective (e.g., self-directed attention and emotional awareness), motivational (e.g., intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation), and cognitive (e.g., attentional control) processes.  Veerpal is also interested in the experience of anticipated mental effort, specifically the factors that shape individuals’ predictions of how effortful tasks will be and their accuracy (i.e., the discrepancy between anticipated and felt mental effort).

Past and Present Lab Managers

Maria Jelic

Maria Jelic has received her Bachelor of Arts with Honours at York University in 2017. Maria works on the development of the Boredom Lab’s website, social media presence, Knowledge Mobilization, and aids with developing and running studies. She will be pursuing graduate studies in Counselling Psychology in the Fall of 2019, with plans on becoming a psychologist and professor.

Past and Present Research Assistants

Sophia Gurovich

Connor Laforge

Eva Friedman

Chanel Frank

Samantha Rebelo