Jonathan Gibson is Associate Professor of Psychology.
What’s your area of expertise? What do you primarily research and/or teach? And what drew you to this field?
Meditation and interoception are my primary areas of research interest and expertise. Interoception is an awareness of what is going on inside your body. Current research is discovering that this sense is really important to health and well-being. All those physiological processes meant to maintain homeostasis turn out to shape and inform our emotional and psychological state. My specific research is aimed at using meditation to increase interoception.
What drew me to this field is a good question. A short answer is I felt “pulled” towards it. Neither interoception nor meditation were ever topics I intentionally set out to study; I just sort of discovered those as I was investigating psychophysiological research in my graduate programs.
What’s one of your favorite courses, topics, or specific texts to teach? Why?
This is a hard question because I enjoy teaching all seven of my courses. If I were forced to choose a specific topic, it would likely be the embodiment section in my Psychology of Mind and Body course, followed closely by the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic sections in Theories of Personality. And, in all honesty, I really enjoy teaching PSYC 101. Good thing too – I teach it four times per year.
What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?
This one is easy. Raising four young children through graduate school and the early part of my professional career. When I was finishing my dissertation, I had three kids in diapers. The fourth was six years old. I think I’m still trying to get caught up on my sleep.
Tell us about a book you’ve read recently, a movie you’ve seen recently, or another work of art or media you’ve engaged with recently that you really enjoyed and would like to recommend.
I’ve been re-watching The Simpsons lately, and I’m absolutely amazed at the pure comedic genius. I can’t recommend season 6 and 7 more. Every episode is brilliant.
Tell us something about yourself outside of work. What do you enjoy doing? What’s a detail about you that your students might not already know?
In my free time (and as long as there aren’t any gale force winds), I golf and flyfish in the Black Hills. If I’m with my kids, which is typical, I’ll bring my traditional gear and we’ll fish for bass, trout, and pike. If the weather isn’t cooperating, I’ll watch movies or play the PS5.