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Hi! I’m Yifei Pei, a senior from Shenzhen, China. I’m passionate about investigating how people’s judgment and decision-making processes operate and hope to use psychological insights to improve behavioral interventions to promote individual welfare. Standing at the intersection of Economics and Psychology, I became fascinated by the discrepancies between ideals and realities in behaviors. This interest led me to engage in research over the last three years centered on behavioral interventions aimed at bridging people’s intentions and behaviors to help increase their utility (happiness). My interests in behavior-change interventions developed as a Research Assistant at the lab led by Dr. Sheeran, where I investigated the effect of behavioral interventions on promoting colorectal cancer screening (CCS). The discovery of a modest effect of the behavioral interventions in our meta-analysis made me increasingly realize the intention-behavior gap and fueled my desire to uncover its underlying nature to potentially design more impactful interventions. In my senior honors thesis, I investigated the role of psychological arousal in moderating the intention-behavior gap. In particular, I found that feeling energized facilitated the translation of intentions into behaviors and that tension hinders such translation.

While my past research primarily revolves around health behaviors and outcomes, I want to explore how psychology plays a role in the business setting. I am truly thankful to the Gil Internship that makes this opportunity possible. Working at Lenovo, I am able to work with a team that has diverse backgrounds, including psychology and design, and gain insights into how psychological insights are used to provide smarter technology for all. I am working in the NextUX team, housed in Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group (IDC). Guided by Dr. Megan Frankosky, the Senior Manager of UX Research with a doctorate in Human Factors and Applied Cognition, I am leading an exploratory project to investigate individuals’ decision-making processes in monitor purchase. In the project, I hope to understand the overall attitudes, particularly the perceived benefits and concerns, for single, large screen experiences versus multi-display experiences. One important research question that the project aims to address is regarding the diminishing return of monitor sizes and the number of monitors. By exploring the motivating reasons behind individuals’ preferences for monitors, the ultimate goal of this project is to provide insights into designing the optimal choice architecture with regards to monitor-purchase guide to relieve the burden of decision-making processes and help improve the overall satisfaction of monitor experience. Currently, I am collecting data and will soon begin the data analysis, hoping to generate useful insights for the NextUX team.

My experience with the NextUX team at Lenovo has shown me the intersection of psychology research and industry. Post-graduation, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and eventually pursue a research career in Social Psychology, where I can study the power of the mind and potentially translate theoretical knowledge into practical guidance for public policy and/or business settings. My experience with Lenovo opens up my options with a career, giving me insights into the world of social psychology in industrial user research. I really enjoy the internship experience at Lenovo, and the Karen M. Gil Program has been a tremendously rewarding experience. I am sincerely grateful to Dr. Steven Buzinski, Emily Dolegowski, and my fellow Gil interns for fostering a supportive environment. Additionally, I want to express my appreciation to my mentor, Dr. Megan Frankosky, and the whole NextUX team for their warm welcome and unwavering support since the beginning. I am eager to see what opportunities the future brings and will forever cherish the internship experience and the wonderful individuals I have encountered along the way.

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