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Dr. Carmen Poulin
Department of Psychology
University of New Brunswick

Dr. Carmen Poulin

In a global sense, my research interests focus on the lived reality of women and marginalised groups. This sounds very broad, but it is accurate. I’m interested in the ways women and marginalised men –– specific groups of women and men –– manage their lives psychologically in response to the demands of specific social contexts that affect them. Previously, I was particularly interested in the correspondence between psychological and physiological responses that are specific to women. For example, I studied the effect of the menstrual cycle on performance and mood. I also carried out research on the relationship between physiological and psychological sexual arousal. More recently, I have been particularly interested in social organisations and their effects on women and marginalised men’s daily experience. As my interests have become more focussed on the structural aspects that influence experience, I have adapted my methodological approach to better suit my research needs.

Methodological approaches that I used in my earlier research were fundamentally reductionist. I tried to circumvent psychological biases (e.g., demands characteristics) that could influence my findings. With time, however, I became increasingly interested in the psychological experiences of women, and felt that I should not be trying to circumvent psychological biases, but rather, examine them in more detail. In collaboration with Lynne Gouliquer, a sociologist, I developed a new methodological approach to look at the dynamics between the social context and the psychological experience. This approach has permitted us to ask very different questions, which in turn, helps us to understand the psychology of women and marginalised men in much different ways.

Currently, most of my research is on the social organisation of the everyday life of women in particular institutions, and the cognitive schemata women use to make sense of their reality. The epistemological assumptions influencing how I develop ideas for research inquiries centrally situates the experience of marginalised groups. My research is based on a feminist understanding of the social world.

Educational Background

PhD: Psychology, Queen’s University
MA: Psychology, Queen’s University
BA: Psychology & Biology, University of New Brunswick

Practicing Licence: Corporation des Psychologues du Québec

© 2008 C.Poulin