Photo of Chris Davis

Chris Davis


Degrees:Ph.D. (British Columbia)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2251
Office:314G Social Sciences Research Building

Research Interests

One line of research concerns the cognitive and emotional adaptations people make following life-changing experiences, including those associated with loss of significant others (e.g., bereavement), injury (e.g., spinal cord injury), chronic debilitating health conditions (such as tinnitus), as well as those experiences most people look forward to (e.g., transition to parenthood). My research examines how people find meaning in loss and transitions of this sort and how these factors promote personal growth and health.

A second line of research deals with assessing and improving the accuracy of self-reports of sensitive behavior.  Whether in the context of psychological research, opinion surveys, job interviews, or consultations in doctors’ offices, we often are asked to report private, potentially embarrasing information about ourselves. In this research, my students and I show that people often do not provide accurate information. The task at hand is how we can change the way sensitive questions are asked so that answers are more accurate.

A new line of research that my students and I are pursuing focuses on secrets. People keep secrets, even from their closest loved ones, because of the perceived negative consequences should those secrets be revealed. But keeping secrets carries psychological costs. We are interested in why people keep secrets, and what effects keeping those secrets have on one’s relationships, one’s mental health, and one’s decision-making abilities.

Sample Publications

Brazeau, H. & Davis, C. G. (in press). Hope and psychological health and well-being following spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology.

Valois, D. D., Novoa, D. C., & Davis, C. G. (2016). Since you’ve been gone: Coping with a relationship breakup. Journal of Interpersonal Relations, Intergroup Relations and Identity, 9, 10-21.

Davis, C. G., Doherty, S., & Moser, A. E. (2014). Social desirability and change following substance abuse treatment in male offenders. Psychology of Addictive Behavior, 28, 872-879.

Davis, C. G., & Novoa, D. C. (2013). Meaning-making following spinal cord injury: Individual differences and within person change. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58, 166-177.