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

The main focus of my research at present concerns the effects that secrecy has on personal and relationship well-being. People often keep secrets about embarrassing experiences, stigmatized aspects of their identity, or moral lapses – things about themselves which they believe significant others will disapprove. But in addition to taxing one’s mental resources, keeping secrets can lead one to feel inauthentic and insecure in one’s relationships. My students and I examine different personality and contextual factors that affect the toll of secret-keeping.

A second line of research concerns the challenges brought on by loss, injury, and illness and the ways that people find meaning and purpose following these events and experiences. My students and I also conduct research on the challenges and burdens of informal caregiving for adults who need assistance due to injury or illness.

A third line of research considers the effects of heavy social media use among young adults. In particular, we have been assessing the effects of voluntarily cutting back on social media screen-time.

Sample Publications

Davis, C. G. (2023). Self-concealment, secrecy, and guilt. Journal of Personality.

McLeod, J. & Davis, C. G. (2023). Community peer support among individuals living with spinal cord injury. Journal of Health Psychology.

Davis, C. G. & Tabri, N. (2023). The secrets that you keep: Secrets and relationship quality. Personal Relationships, 30(2), 620-635.

Thai, H., Davis, C. G., Mahboob, W., Perry, S., Adams, A., & Goldfield, G. S. (2023). Reducing social media use on smartphones improves appearance and weight esteem in youth with emotional distress. Psychology of Popular Media.

Davis, C. G., Brazeau, H., Xie, E. B., McKee, K. (2021). Secrets, psychological health, and the fear of discovery. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 47, 781-795.