Galen Panger

Alumni (PhD 2017)


Social Media Behavior, Happiness & Well-being, Public Opinion, Behavioral Economics


Information Policy
User Experience Design & Research


I completed my Ph.D. at the School of Information in 2017, winning the iSchools Doctoral Dissertation Award for my thesis, Emotion in Social Media. My research interests include social media behavior, happiness and well-being, public opinion, and behavioral economics, and I'm mixed methods. Currently, I work as a Senior UX Researcher at Google in Mountain View, and prior to my Ph.D., I worked at Google in D.C. My bachelor's degree in Public Policy is from Stanford. I love to think about design and its behavioral and social consequences.

My dissertation, Emotion in Social Media, looks at issues of emotional experience and expression in social media, and examines the use of social media ‘Big Data’ to make inferences about emotional life. I am founding director of the Center for Technology, Society & Policy, a new research institution within the School of Information, and during my Ph.D. completed a study of graduate student well-being at Berkeley, which has since been expanded to all ten University of California campuses. My dissertation research was funded in part by the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, and my thesis advisor was Steven Weber.

I'm easy-going and enjoy talking about ideas with new people. Feel free to send me an email or look me up on Twitter.