Brent Curdy is a third year graduate student in Sociology. He is interested in the ways that people make sense of their social and physical surroundings and how people decide what things are most important to them. His research interests include social psychology and identity theory. His recent research includes an exploration of the bases of group membership by looking at atheism and cultural inclusion in the United States, the relationship between “unrealistic” educational expectations and depression among young adults, and the relative flexibility of US and Middle Eastern identities and affective meanings for interpreting events. He has much experience with experimental social psychology methods using human subjects and with online survey tools such as Qualtrics and Amazon Mechanical Turk. Brent served in the US Army for five and half years as an Arabic translator, including two deployments to Iraq. He grew up in rural Minnesota.