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Dr. Sam Hardy

Sam grew up in a farming town in southern Idaho. As a young lad, he thought he would grow up to be a vet, a pet store owner, a rock star, a DJ, or a professional basketball player, depending on when you asked him. Instead, he ended up being a psychology professor. He got his BA in human development at BYU, and his PhD in developmental psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been a professor at BYU since 2007. Sam is married and has two boys: an artist and an athlete. His hobbies are reading, watching movies, cooking, cross-training, and beatboxing. Sam has been studying adolescent development for over 15 years, and conducts research on topics such as moral development, identity formation, religiousness, and motivation. To date he has published over 40 scientific journal articles. His goal is to help teens do more good things, do fewer bad things, and live happy and productive lives.

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Graduate Research Assistants


Jenae Nelson

Jenae Nelson received a BS in Psychology from BYU and is continuing her education at BYU in the Developmental Psychology PhD program with the goal of pursuing an academic research career. She is currently studying adolescent religiosity and spirituality with an interest in religious conversion and exit. Specifically, her research is focused on the internalization of grace, spiritual indebtedness, and gratitude to God and how they relate to deepening conversion and religious retention. When she is not studying teen development, she is busy raising her own teenagers. As a mother to four children her research both informs and is influenced by her engagement at home. For downtime she enjoys being in nature—hiking, biking, running, and backpacking and being in the flow—writing, painting, and reading.
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Undergraduate Research Assistants

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Chayce Baldwin

Chayce Baldwin is from Federal Way, Washington and is studying Psychology. He plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in research. He is interested in Developmental, Social and Personality, and Positive Psychology and in understanding how we can live better, fuller lives to flourish into our ideal selves. His other research interests include strength development, moral development, self-regulation, autonomy, motivation, and memory and learning. He loves learning anything and everything about psychology! Outside of psychology, Chayce enjoys ballroom dancing, writing, intelligent humor, deep discussions, and (high quality) ice cream.
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Summer Frandsen

Summer grew up in Upland, California, near LA. She is currently studying psychology and minoring in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Her hope is to go on to graduate school to be a Clinical Neuropsychologist. Her research interests include resilience, chronic illness, families, religious and moral development, the neurological bases of behavior and mental illness, therapy, and neural plasticity. In her free time she enjoys learning about the ancient world, being at the beach, swimming, reading, playing games, and spending time with her family and cat.
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Justin Hendricks

Justin was born in Mesa Arizona and grew up in Lindon Utah. He is pursuing a degree in psychology and minoring in sociology. His dream includes being a seminary teacher for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, attending graduate school, and eventually to teach at BYU in the Church History department. His research interest include repentance practices, religious affiliation, religious and spiritual development, and religious education. Justin also enjoys teaching and is a substitute Seminary teacher. When not teaching or studying, he loves to go on walks, listen to music, look at art, and experience new things.

Jeffrey Hurst

Jeff is from Pleasant Grove Utah. He has been studying psychology at BYU for a few years. He hopes to one day get a PhD in either Development Psychology or Marriage Family and Human Development and one day become a professor and teach and conduct his own research. He is particularly interested in parent-child relationships and what effects trust and self-disclosure in these relationships. Outside of psychology, he loves to be outdoors, go camping, and hiking. He loves to scuba dive and has been lucky enough to travel to various countries to do so.
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Jake Knell

Jake is from Provo, Utah. He is a Psychology major, and he plans to go to graduate school for clinical or non-clinical psychology. He is interested in developmental, social, and philosophical psychology. In particular, Jake is interested in the crossover between mainstream, contemporary psychology and the existential/phenomenological philosophical tradition. Jake has been married for almost two years, and loves being with his wife and playing with his Siberian husky-chocolate lab, Phoebe. he is also an avid golfer, musician, and reader.

Joseph Moore

Joseph is from South Jordan, Utah. After planning on studying engineering throughout high school, he decided he wanted to study psychology at the beginning of his freshman year. He plans to attend graduate school in social or organizational psychology, with plans for a career in some combination of research, teaching, and/or organizational consulting. He wants to apply psychology in meaningful ways to make the world a better place. His main research interests include identity, motivation, interpersonal relationships, and group dynamics. Outside of psychology, Joseph is a passionate distance runner, loves spending time hiking in the mountains, and being involved with his church.