Lafayette psychology professor and department head Jennifer Talarico, who is also a cognitive psychologist, spoke with Associated Press about the importance of finding a way to commemorate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic—a globally shared experience that may or may not have the definitive “Hollywood ending” Americans are hoping for.

Jennifer Talarico headshot

Jennifer Talarico

Talarico, who studies how people remember personally experienced events, compared the pandemic to V-E Day and V-J Day, during which people came together to celebrate the end of World War II, despite the fact the war wasn’t over yet.

“We build relationships based on commonality even though your story and my story are unique and might not have been shared at the time,” she said. “The sharing of the story becomes the way we know one another.”

Talarico is frequently interviewed by the Associated Press. Earlier this month, she discussed how the pandemic has shifted how people mark important life milestones. In January, she talked about looking back at the year 2020. In July, she offered insights about the conflicting emotions surrounding Independence Day.

Categorized in: COVID-19 News, Faculty and Staff, Featured News, In the Media, News and Features, Psychology