Amy Summerville

Amy SummervilleAssociate Professor

Contact Information:
Phone: (513) 529-6126
312 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Teaching Interests:

Like my own research, my teaching focuses largely on the field of Social Cognition, how basic properties of attention and memory shape our responses to the social world. My teaching philosophy centers on the belief that we learn by doing; specifically, I strongly believe in building ongoing writing practice into my courses, as well as building the habits of reading and critical thinking that scholars in the field develop over time. I encourage students to connect course material to real-life applications in this writing, our class discussions, and in application projects with external partners.

Research Interests:

My research is focused on understanding when and why people think about “what might have been,” and the effects of these thoughts in applied, everyday contexts. I’m particularly interested in the experience of regret, the negative emotion stemming from the realization that one’s actions could have resulted in better outcomes than actually occurred. I have done work examining what regrets individuals report both in real life and in lab contexts. This work has informed theoretical work focused on the functional nature of regret, and the role of opportunity in the strength of regret. My research also focuses on how social relationships intersect with regret and counterfactual thinking.

More information about Dr. Summerville's research can be found on her lab page.

Professional Recognition:

Midwestern Psychological Association Fellow (2017)
Society of Experimental Social Psychology Fellow (2016)
Miami University Excellence in Student Career Development (2014)
Top 100 Faculty, Miami University (2013)

Representative Publications:

Roese, N. J., & Summerville, A. (2005). What we regret most … and why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1273-1285

Summerville, A. (2011). The rush of regret: A longitudinal analysis of naturalistic regrets. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 627-634.

Summerville, A. (2011). Counterfactual-seeking: The scenic overlook of the road not taken. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1522-1533.

Rim, S. & Summerville, A. (2014). How far to the road not taken?: The effect of psychological distance on counterfactual direction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 391-401. DOI: 10.1177/0146167213513304

Summerville, A., & Buchanan, J. (2014). Functions of Personal Experience and of Expression of Regret. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 463-475. DOI: 10.1177/0146167213515026


National Science Foundation, “Preliminary investigation of a social cognitive intervention in early courses” (NSF-EEC-1530627), 2015-2019. ($367,563)

Courses Taught:

PSY 112 (Foundational Experiences in Psychology)
PSY 327 (Social Cognition)
PSY 410 (Capstone in social psychology:Applied psychology)
PSY 602 (Graduate Statistics and Methods II)

Research Lab Information:

Current Graduate Students:

Brielle Johnson
Ryan Walker 
Woo Kim 

If you are an undergraduate interested in joining our lab, please contact summervillelab [at] for an application. Our lab encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups. We give preference to students in their first 2 years, but welcome applications from advanced students as well.