Dr. Kurt Gray, an Assistant Professor of Social Psychology, is a recipient of the UNC Junior Faculty Development award.
The Junior Faculty Development Award is paid from the IBM and R.J. Reynolds Industries Funds and awarded to assistant and associate professors.
Dr. Gray won for his project investigating the dying positivity effect and how dying can be positive. Fear of dying reflects our human inability to predict emotional experiences of death. Dr. Gray’s pilot data indicates that those who are close to death are more positive and those patients in the process of dying do not live in constant fear. With this award, Dr. Gray will expand his data sample by including terminal illness blogs written within the last fifteen years, analyzing the language to determine positive and negative emotion word use.