Lizbeth Benson

Graduate Student Researcher

I received a BA in Psychology with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2011 and spent the next three years working as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center. Currently I am a fourth year PhD student and University Graduate Fellow, working under the mentorship of Dr. Nilam Ram.  My research interests include developing new, and utilizing existing quantitative methods for studying emotion, self-regulation, psychological well-being, and physical health across the lifespan. In particular, I am interested in dynamical systems theories and methods for studying intraindividual variability and change across multiple time scales. Data visualization has also become an important component of my work as a way to better understand these processes, generate new ideas, and to use as a tool for scientific communication. In my first year of graduate school, I founded the We R: Penn State R Users’ Group. We R is a weekly meet-up providing an interdisciplinary workspace, discussion, and presentation forum for those who use (or would like to learn) the R statistical platform for scientific pursuits. I also participate in Playing the Archive ( projects with a group of scientists, musicians, artists, and engineers, where we collaborate in building a dynamic archive of data visualizations (art), sonifications (music) and haptic representations. Each semester the crew delivers art+science concerts, gallery showings, and workshops to engage the community through participatory data immersions. To promote STEM education efforts, I am involved in outreach activities as part of the Graduate Women in Science Nu Chapter at Penn State


Benson, L., Ram, N., Almeida, D. M., Zautra, A. J., & Ong, A. D.. (2017). Fusing Biodiversity Metrics into Investigations of Daily Life: Illustrations and Recommendations With Emodiversity. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. presented at the Jun-03-2019. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx025
Roepke, A. Marie, Benson, L., Tsukayama, E., & Yaden, D. Bryce. (2017). Prospective writing: Randomized controlled trial of an intervention for facilitating growth after adversity. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2815288260(592363), 1 - 16. presented at the Aug-08-2018. doi:10.1080/17439760.2017.1365161
Ong, A. D., Benson, L., Zautra, A. J., & Ram, N.. (2017). Emodiversity and Biomarkers of Inflammation. Emotion. presented at the Jan-01-2017. doi:10.1037/emo0000343
Wood, J., Oravecz, Z., Vogel, N., Benson, L., Chow, S. - M., Cole, P., et al.. (2017). Modeling Intraindividual Dynamics Using Stochastic Differential Equations: Age Differences in Affect Regulation. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. presented at the Feb-03-2017. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx013
Kern, M. L., Benson, L., Larson, E., Forrest, C. B., Bevans, K. B., & Steinberg, L.. (2016). The Anatomy of Developmental Predictors of Healthy Lives Study (TADPOHLS). Applied Developmental Science, 20(2), 135 - 145. presented at the Feb-04-2016. doi:10.1080/10888691.2015.1095642
Kern, M. L., Benson, L., Steinberg, E. A., & Steinberg, L.. (2016). The EPOCH Measure of Adolescent Well-Being. Psychological Assessment, 28(5), 586 - 597. presented at the Jan-01-2016. doi:10.1037/pas0000201