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Jessica L. Hartnett

  • Associate Professor
    Psychology Program

As a social psychologist, my areas of research interest have to do with emotions and how they shape the way we look at our past and anticipate the future. Specifically, I am interested in the fading affect bias and affective forecasting error. The fading affect bias suggests negative affect associated with negative memories fades away faster than the positive affect associated with good memories. Affective forecasting refers to our tendency to overestimate the duration and magnitude of our emotional reactions to future life events, both positive and negative. Both theories are somewhat counter-intuitive and suggest that our minds are constantly and non-consciously working to keep us happy and motivated to work toward goals that we think will make us happy. Relatedly, I teach Positive Psychology at Gannon and have co-authored a book about the fading affect bias (Pollyanna's Revenge, 2014, 2017). 

In addition to Positive Psychology, I also teach Social Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and will Motivation and Emotion. I also teach Psychological Statistics frequently and have published and presented research related to best methods for the teaching of statistics and maintain my blog,, to share my ideas about making statistics entertaining (yes, it can be done).

When I am not at work, I spend my time with my husband (Dominic Prianti, an instructor in Gannon's Department of Philosophy) and our sons, Nico and Arthie. We like going to the Erie Zoo, the Presque Isle, and Frontier Park.

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Motivation and Emotion
  • Psychological Statistics
  • Psychological Statistics Lab
  • Positive Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Ph.D., Social/Industrial-Organizational Psychology, May 2009

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
Dissertation: “More Affect, Less Forecast:  The Role of Mood in Affective Forecasting”
Chair: Dr. John Skowronski

M.A., Social/Industrial-Organizational Psychology, May 2006

Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois
Thesis: “The Effect of Materialism on Affective Forecasting”
Chair: Dr. John Skowronski

B.S., Psychology, Biological and Evolutionary Sciences Concentration, May 2001

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

  • Associate Professor, Gannon University, Department of Psychology, Erie, PA, 2016-Present
  • Assistant Professor, Gannon University, Department of Psychology, Erie, PA, 2010 - 2016
  • Visiting Professor, Gannon University, Department of Psychology, Erie, PA, 2009-2010
  • Adjunct Faculty, Aurora University, Department of Psychology, Aurora, IL, 2008-2009
  • Adjunct Faculty, Kishwaukee College, College of Arts/Communications/Social Sciences, Malta, IL, 2006-2009
  • Instructor, Northern Illinois University, Department of Psychology, DeKalb, IL, 2003-2009


Walker, R., Scherer, C.R., & Hartnett, J.L. (2017). Pollyanna's Revenge, 2nd Ed. Dubuque, IA: Kendal-Hunt.

Walker, R., Scherer, C.R., & Hartnett, J.L. (2014). Pollyanna's Revenge. Dubuque, IA: Kendal-Hunt.

Book Chapter

Hartnett, J.L. (2016). Not awful and boring blog and ToPIX as open source teaching tools. In R. Jhangiani & R. Biswas-Diener (Eds.) Open: The philosophy and practices that are revolutionizing psychological science and education. London: Ubiquity Press.

Research Articles

McCarthy, R. et al. , (2018). An Investigation of Abstract Construal on Impression Formation: A Multi-Lab Replication of McCarthy and Skowronski (2011) . International Review of Social Psychology. 31, 15 . DOI:

Hartnett, J.L. (2016). Using data mining to teach applied statistics and correlation. Teaching of Psychology, 43, 142-146.

Hartnett, J. L., Rosielle, L. J., & Lindley, L. D. (2015). Crowdsourcing your psychology major: Using Facebook to increase faculty-student interaction and encourage student engagement. In W. Altman, L. Stein, & J. R. Stowell (Eds.), Essays from E-xcellence in Teaching (Vol. 14, pp. 35-39).

Hartnett, J.L., Coppock, T.E., & Carney, K. (2014). Affective Forecasting and College Counseling: How Anticipation Impacts Persistence. Journal of Counseling Practice, 5, 50-59.

Hartnett, J.L., Rosielle, L., & Lindley, L. (2014). Crowdsourcing your psychology major: Using Facebook to increase faculty-student interaction and encourage student engagement. E-xcellence in Teaching essay series, Teaching of Psychology.

Edlund, J.E., Hartnett, J.L., Heider, J.D., & Perez, E. (2014). Experimenter characteristics and word choice: Best practices when administering an informed consent. Ethics and Behavior, 24:5, 397-407, DOI: 10.1080/10508422.2013.854171.

Edlund, J.E., & Hartnett, J.L. (2013). Second Life in the psychology classroom: Teaching and research possibilities. International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies, 3, 47-56.

Hartnett, J.L. (2013). Stats on the cheap: Free and inexpensive resources for the teaching of statistics. Teaching of Psychology, 40, 52-55.

Hartnett, J.L., & Skowronski, J. (2010). Affective forecasts and the Valentine's Day shootings at NIU: People are
resilient, but unaware of it. Journal of Positive Psychology, 5, 275-280.

Hartnett, J.L., & Skowronski, J. (2008). Cash, money, woes: The match between a person’s level of materialism and the materialistic (or non-materialistic) character of events alters affective forecasts. North American Journal of Psychology, 10, 647-664.

Ritchie, T. D., Skowronski, J. J., Hartnett, J. L., Wells, B. M., & Walker, W. R. (2009). The fading affect bias in the context of emotion activation level, mood, and personal theories of emotion change. Memory, 17, 428-444.

Heider, J.D., Scherer, C. R., Skowronski, J. J., Wood, S. E., Edlund, J. E., & Hartnett, J. L. (2007). Trait expectancies and stereotype expectancies have the same effect on person memory. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 265-272.

Couthinho, S., Hartnett, J. L., Sagarin, B. (2007). Understanding promiscuity in strategic friend selection from an evolutionary perspective. North American Journal of Psychology, 9, 257-274.

Jessica         L. Hartnett

Phone: 814-871-7539
Office: PC 2242

Contact Jessica Hartnett