RESEARCH

RESEARCH

My research is interdisciplinary, spanning work in media studies, psychology, art history, urban design, anthropology, and narratology, among other fields. I am experienced in qualitative and quantitative research, and look forward to receiving additional training in statistical measures, data visualization, and natural language processing, among other methods. My current research is concerned with how users interact with, are affected by, and create and share narrative-form and suicide-related content on social media platforms, as well as with the design and choice architectures of such platforms. I currently work as a RallyPoint Fellow and a Research Assistant at Harvard University's Nock Lab, where I study the impacts of social media on suicide. While I am interested in many types of new media, I am largely interested in studying games and other interactive media that are designed to support learning, psychosocial development, or other such intended outcomes. I am interested in interactive media that tackle real-world issues (e.g., climate change) or that can be used therapeutically (e.g., improve self-management) or educationally (eg., help kids better understand material science concepts). I'm particularly interested in mixed-methods approaches that begin with qualitative and descriptive analyses then use quantitative methods to explore more concrete themes and features within these data. My research interests are diverse, but all center around the study of new media and the ways in which they convey stories. I believe that by studying how new media experiences utilize different kinds of narrative elements (e.g., character, story), and by quantifying and manipulating those elements to observe changes in user outcomes, we can begin to build a new understanding of how narratives can be used in technology to improve people's lives, and we can better support any manner of intended outcomes (e.g., improvements in psychological symptoms, better learning outcomes) for users of these technologies.

RECENT RESEARCH EXAMPLE

Kessler, D.T., Zuromski, K.L., Low, D., Wittler, E.M., Nock, M.K. (2021, November). Examining online disclosures of suicide risk: a qualitative analysis of data from a military social media platform. Poster presented at the 55th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA. 

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Peer-Reviewed Papers

  • Bentley, K., Zuromski, K.L., Fortgang, R., Madsen, E., Kessler, D.T., Lee, H., Nock, M.K. (Under Review). Implementing Machine Learning Algorithms for Suicide Risk Prediction in Clinical Practice: A Focus Group Study. PsyArXiv. DOI:10.31234/osf.io/6m5qd.

  • Low, D.M., Zuromski, K.L., Kessler, D.T., Ghosh, S.S., Nock, M.K. and Dempsey, W. (2021, November). It's quality and quantity: the effect of the amount of comments on online suicidal posts. EMNLP 2021 First Workshop on Causal Inference & NLP. Nov. 7-11, 2021: Online and in the Barceló Bávaro Convention Centre, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

 

Papers In Preparation

  • Kessler, D.T. Disclosure as heroic virtue: deploying a narrative framework in peer-to-peer support forums for military servicemembers to recast the experience of suicidal ideation. Manuscript in preparation.

  • Franz, P.J., Mou, D., Stubbing, J., Kessler, D.T., et al. Narrative bibliotherapy as a scalable intervention for suicidal thoughts. Manuscript in preparation.

  • Zuromski, K.L., Kessler, D.T., Heaton, D.,Tatem, M., Steinberg, J., Mou, D., Nock, M.K. Impact of COVID-19 on suicidal thoughts and behaviors as indicated through Twitter posts. Manuscript in preparation.

  • Zuromski, K.L., Jones, N., Kessler, D.T., Low, Daniel, Kastman, E., Wilks, C., Gowel, D., Nock, M.K. Analysis of a peer-to-peer support social media platform for military servicemembers. Manuscript in preparation.

 

Conference Presentations

  • Kessler, D.T., Zuromski, K.L., Low, D., Nock, M.K. (2021, October). Using topic modeling to describe suicide-related content from an online social media platform for military servicemembers. Presented at the 5th Annual Technology in Psychiatry Summit (TIPS), Blitz Talks. Mclean Hospital, Belmont, MA.

  • Harrel, A., Kessler, D.T., Zuromski, K.L., Nock, M.K. (August, 2020) Improving detection and understanding of suicide risk in the military: a mixed-methods analysis of social media posts. Conference Presentation of The Leadership Alliance & SROH: University of Buffalo, SUNY and Harvard University.

  • Kessler, D.T. (January, 2020). How Intelligent Systems Change Archetypal Narrative Acts. Presented at the 1st Annual NYU Systems Conference: New York University, New York, NY.

 

Posters & Other

  • Kessler, D.T., Zuromski, K.L., Low, D., Wittler, E.M., Nock, M.K. (2021, November). Examining online disclosures of suicide risk: a qualitative analysis of data from a military social media platform. Poster presented at the 55th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Orleans, LA. 

Unpublished Manuscripts

  • Kessler, D.T. (December, 2019). Narrative Systems Modeling: Techniques for Classifying, Databasing, and Mapping Narrative Systems. Successfully defended at New York University, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York, NY.

PAST RESEARCH EXAMPLE

The Western Round Tables on Modern Art

"Daniel Kessler extensively edited materials relevant to the corrected text and researched a world of details, especially of analogous round tables. Without his participation, I could not have completed this book."
-Dr. Stephen Goldstine, Professor Emeritus of the California College of the Arts

2-Year Live-In Research Residency (5-year part-time research position) with California College of the Arts (CCA) President and Professor Emeritus Dr. Stephen GoldstineOne of the more formative experiences of my life. I spend two years as a live-in assistant to art historian and retired CCA President Stephen Goldstine, working intensely in first-person research, transcription, and documentation of original letters and recordings relating to four publicly-held artistic round tables that took place between 1916 and 1961 in the San Francisco Bay Area; the largest of these was the 1961 Western Round Table on Modern Art, which is the title of the manuscript that Dr. Goldstine and I compiled during that period. I independently transcribed over 12 hours of never-before-published radio archives of discussions featuring Marcel Duchamp, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gregory Bateson, George Boas, Kenneth Burke, and others. During this process, I came into contact with never-before-revealed details about these artists' and researchers' lives; one of the more integral experiences I had was donning white silk gloves to handle penny postcards, hand-written letters, and original recordings from and between some of the world's most recognized early modern artists, anthropologists, and linguists, and philosophers. This project concluded in 2017 with the creation of a 278-page manuscript to which I contributed heavily. 

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An unreleased photograph of the first Western Round Table on Modern Art featuring Marcel Duchamp, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gregory Bateson, George Boas, Kenneth Burke, Alfred Frankenstein, Robert Goldwater, Andrew Richie, Darius Milhaud, and Mark Tobey.

Courtesy of the California College of the Arts Library Archives