About me

Who am I?

Well, I started my career by getting my B.A. in Psychology from Lee University.  (Home sweet home.)  I then pursued and obtained my Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Middle Tennessee State University.  After taking a year off school–not by choice–I enrolled in the Experimental Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Alabama, where I obtained my doctorate in 2014.

I’m from Tennessee, but I don’t have a southern accent.  I fib about my age.  I love drinking tea (not coffee).  And Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy are currently playing songs in my head.

I’m also married to Dr. Betsy Poole, who teaches Spanish and linguistics at Lee!  Even more interesting, we have one set of twin children, Liam and Amelia.

When I’m not conducting research or teaching psychology, I can be found alongside my wife watching movies–film noir is my favorite genre–and playing board games or video games.

My research interests

My research interests can be broadly divided into three areas:

Emotions and motivation

My training in graduate school primarily involved investigating how emotions influence (or are influenced by) a wide variety of phenomenon.  Specifically, I’m interested in understanding the social and cognitive (i.e., attention, decision-making, problem-solving, memory) consequences of the motivational dimensions of emotions–that is, the extent to which they cause us to approach or withdraw from a stimulus.  I’m particularly fond of studying the emotions of anger, awe, sadness, and nostalgia.

Representative publications:

Gable, P. A., Poole, B. D., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2015). Anger perceptually and conceptually narrows attentional scope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109, 163-174.

Poole, B. D., & Gable, P. A. (2014). Affective motivational direction drives asymmetric frontal hemisphere activation. Experimental Brain Research, 232(7), 2121-2130.

Teaching effectiveness

Lately I have been interesting in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), which basically entails scientifically studying how to improve the classroom experience for both teachers and students.  I want to know how to create experiences that will help students enjoy and master course content, so I study them using research!

Representative publications:

Zayac, R., Poole, B. D., Gray, C., Sargent, M., Paulk, A., & Haynes, E. (in press). No disrespect: Student and faculty perceptions of the qualities of ineffective teachers. Teaching of Psychology.

Poole, B. D., Turner, L., & Maher-Boulis, C. (manuscript under review). Designing a “Student Exchange Program:” Facilitating interdisciplinary, math-focused collaboration among college students. Journal of Mathematics and Science.


Time perception

I’m extremely interested in how our perception of time changes as a result of emotions, social interactions, and other cognitive phenomenon.  I also research how a person’s time perspective shapes their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Representative publications:

Gable, P. A., Neal, L. E., & Poole, B. D. (2017). Sadness speeds and disgust drags: Influence of motivational direction on time perception in negative affect. Motivation Science2, 238-255.

Gable, P. A., & Poole, B. D. (2012). Why the good times go fast: Positive affect, approach motivation, and time perception. Psychological Science, 23(8), 879-886.