Department of Psychology

Department of


Department of


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Jill Jacobson

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Associate Professor

B.A., (Honors), Northwestern University, 1990
M.A., Ohio State University, 1995
Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1999


318 Craine
Psychology Department
Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Research Interests

I study the social-cognitive and social-behavioural consequences of two distinct but related individual differences: dysphoria and causal uncertainty. Dysphoria refers to mild to moderate levels of depression, and causal uncertainty pertains to confidence in one’s ability to understand why things happen to oneself and to others. My current research is focused primarily on trying to understand an interesting paradox: Although dysphoric and causally uncertain people are more motivated to understand other people and more accurate in their social perceptions, they also are more likely to experience interpersonal problems including greater loneliness, shyness, and social rejection.

Selected Publications

Rounding, K., Jacobson, J. A., & Hart, K. E. (2016). The protective role of religiosity: Moderating causal uncertainty in the parent-offspring dysphoria relationship. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 8, 1-12.

Rounding, K., Jacobson, J. A., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2014). Examining the effects of changes in depressive symptomatology on eyewitness identification. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33, 495-511. doi: 10.1521/jscp.2014.33.6.495.

Rounding, K., & Jacobson, J. A. (2013). The role of causal uncertainty in the relationship between perceived parental dysphoria and offspring’s own dysphoria. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 37, 1058-1069.

Boucher, E. M., & Jacobson, J. A. (2012). Causal uncertainty during initial interactions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 652-663.

Rounding, K., Lee, A., Jacobson, J. A., & Ji, L. J. (2012). Religion replenishes self-control. Psychological Science, 23, 635-642.

Jacobson, J. A., Weary, G., & Lin, Y. S. (2008). Causal uncertainty and metacognitive inferences about goal attainment. Cognition and Emotion, 22, 1276-1305.

Jacobson, J. A. (2007). The relationship among causal uncertainty, reassurance seeking, and dysphoria. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 26, 923-940.