Sean Reilly


Sean graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Psychological & Brain Sciences in 2020. At CU Boulder, he is a member of the Evolution and Social Cognition (ESC) lab where they take an evolutionary approach to understanding human behavior and cognition. Sean is broadly interested in the functional role of prosocial emotions in establishing and maintaining cooperative relationships. Throughout his graduate studies, he hopes to pursue the following questions: What makes us decide to befriend someone or not? What circumstances give rise to functional deployment of the evolved emotions in social settings? He hopes investigating these questions provides a foundation for understanding the ultimate causes of human emotions. Sean is one of 5 children, born in southern California. College was never emphasized nor encouraged much growing up in his family and he is the only one of his siblings to pursue higher education. Black sheep in many ways!  He took various classes/changed majors throughout his 4 years at community college until he discovered the subject he loves: Psychology. He is a non-traditional student and a pragmatic at his core. He hopes he can pass on the torch of non-traditional students to a McNair scholar!