Sarah Sperry

Profile picture for Sarah Sperry

Contact Information

603 E. Daniel St.
Psychology Department
Office: 384 & 205

Research Interests

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Ambulatory Assessment
  • Affective Science
  • Emotion Dynamics
  • Emotion-based Impulsivity

Research Description

My research broadly examines bipolar spectrum disorders from behavioral, cognitive, and physiological perspectives. More specifically, I am interested in emotion dynamics, impulsivity, and reward sensitivity and how these factors influence risk for the development of and outcomes related to bipolar psychopathology. I primarily use experience sampling methodology and ambulatory assessments to examine these constructs in daily life. 


  • Tufts University, B.S.
  • University of North Carolina Greensboro, M.A.



  • APF/COGDOP Graduate Research Scholarship
  • APAGS Junior Scientist Fellowship


Awards and Honors

  • Nancy Hirschberg Memorial Research Award
  • Ed Scheiderer Memorial Research Award
  • Frederick & Ruby Kanfer Award

Courses Taught

Psychopathology and Problems in Living (PSY 238)

Additional Campus Affiliations

Psychology Writing Support Center Fellow

Highlighted Publications

  • Sperry, S.H., & Kwapil, T.R. (2019). Affective dynamics in bipolar spectrum psychopathology: Modeling variability, reactivity, instability, and inertia in daily life. Journal of Affective Disorders, 251, 195-204.
  • Sperry, S.H., Kwapil, T.R., Eddington, K.M., & Silvia, P.J. (2018). Psychopathology, everyday behaviors, and autonomic activity in daily life: An ambulatory impedance cardiography study of depression, anxiety, and hypomanic traits. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 129, 67-75.
  • Harper, K.L., Silvia, P.J., Eddington, K.M., Sperry, S.H., Kwapil, T.R. (2018). Conscientiousness and effort-related cardiac activity in response to piece-rate cash incentives. Motivation and Emotion.
  • Sperry, S.H., Barrantes-Vidal, N., & Kwapil, T.R. (2018) The association of affective temperaments and bipolar spectrum psychopathology: An experience sampling study. Motivation and Emotion, 42(1), 126-136.
  • Sperry, S.H., Lynam, D.P, & Kwapil, T.R. (2018). The convergence and divergence of impulsivity facets in daily life. The Journal of Personality, 86 (5), 841-852.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Sperry, S.H., Cohen, B.M., Norris, L.A., Fitzmaurice, G.M., Öngür, D., Keshavan, M.S. (2017). Treatment to Enhance Cognition in Bipolar Disorder (TREC-BD): Efficacy of a randomized controlled trial of cognitive remediation. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 78(9), e1242-e1249.
  • Sperry, S.H. & Kwapil, T.R. (2017). What can daily life assessment tell us about the bipolar spectrum? Psychiatry Research, 252, 51-56.
  • Silvia, P.J., Mironovová, Z., McHone, A.N., Sperry, S.H., Harper, K.L., Kwapil, T.R., & Eddington, K.M. (2016). Do depressive symptoms blunt effort? An analysis of cardiac engagement and withdrawal for an increasingly difficult task. Biological Psychology, 118, 52-60.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Sperry, S.H., Öngür, D., Cohen, B.M., Norris, L.A., & Keshavan, M.S. (2016).  Cognitive remediation versus active computer control in bipolar disorder with psychosis: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial, Trials, 17(1), 136.
  • Sperry, S.H., Lynam, D.R., Walsh, M.A., Horton, L.E. & Kwapil, T.R. (2016). Examining the multidimensional structure of impulsivity in daily life. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, 153-158.
  • Sperry, S.H., O’Connor, L.K., Öngür, D., Cohen, B.M., Keshavan, M.S., & Lewandowski, K.E. (2015). Measuring cognition in bipolar disorder with psychosis using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery. The Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21(6), 468-472.
  • Sperry, S.H., Walsh, M.A., & Kwapil, T.R. (2015). Measuring the validity and psychometric properties of a short form of the Hypomanic Personality Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 82, 52-57.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Öngür, D., Sperry, S.H., Cohen, B.M., Sehovic, S.M., Goldbach, J., & Du, F. (2014).  Myelin versus axon abnormalities in white matter in bipolar disorder. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40, 1243-1249.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Sperry, S.H., Cohen, B.M., & Öngür, D. (2014).  Cognitive variability in psychotic disorders: an exploratory cross-diagnostic cluster analysis.  Psychological Medicine, 44 (15), 3239-48.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Sperry, S.H., Malloy, M.C., & Forester, B.P. (2013) Age as a predictor of cognitive decline in bipolar disorder.  American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 12, 1462-1468.
  • Lewandowski, K.E., Cohen, B.M., Keshavan, M.S., Sperry, S.H., & Öngür, D. (2013) Neuropsychological functioning predicts community outcomes in affective and non-affective psychoses: a 6-month follow-up. Schizophrenia Research, 148, 34-37.