Project Advisors

Dr. Alia Crum


Dr. Alia Crum received her PhD from Yale, her BA from Harvard, and is now Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford—one of the youngest ever. Her Mind & Body Lab focuses on how mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—alter objective reality. Her research has won several awards, including the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize and the William Harris Prize, as well as being featured in popular media outlets.

“Primals, as Jer has defined them, are the most general beliefs of all. As such, they have the greatest potential to assert a biasing influence into our lives, for better or for worse.” – Dr. Alia Crum, 2014

Dr. Carol Dweck


Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University is considered by some to be one of the most influential psychologists alive today. Her research focuses on how to foster success by influencing mindsets. She has also held professorships at Columbia and Harvard, and her bestselling book Mindset has been widely acclaimed and translated into more than 20 languages.

“Beliefs are at the heart of motivation, personality, well being, and much pathology, yet this is not widely recognized. To the extent that studying primals (or core beliefs) can bring this to the fore, it could have a tremendous effect on how we conceptualize and study human nature.” – Dr. Carol Dweck, 2014

Dr. Crystal Park


Dr. Crystal Park is the 3rd author on the 2019 foundational primals paper. In addition to being a measurement expert and studying the effects of yoga, her research focuses on how certain basic beliefs influence an individual’s ability to cope with traumatic life events. She is associate editor of four journals, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, former president of Division 36 of the APA (Psychology of Religion), and a recipient of their Early Career Award and William James Award.

“I am quite familiar with the literature on those psychological constructs most similar to primals, and can therefore say without reservation that focusing on primals provides an opportunity to explore a fundamental element of human experience that has heretofore been minimally examined. It may be that it is so obvious that psychologists simply overlooked it… This is one of those projects that has great potential for identifying an important piece for what it means to be human.” – Dr. Crystal Park, 2014