Tristan McIntosh, PhD joins the Department of Medicine

Dr. Tristan McIntosh joined the Department of Medicine, Division of General Medical Sciences as an Instructor in July, 2018.

Dr. McIntosh has received training in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with an emphasis on leadership, ethics, and complex problem solving. She has also been trained extensively in quantitative and qualitative research methods, having conducted studies using both techniques. Her research examines ethics with respect to decision making, training and development, program evaluation, and leadership practices. Her broader research agenda aims to improve ethical decision making of individuals and foster productive ethical climates in medical settings. At the individual level, she has led a project examining what situational factors increase or decrease the likelihood of a researcher whistle-blowing on misconduct perpetrated by another researcher. At the departmental or organizational level, she led a case study analysis of a model ethics training program to illustrate effective techniques in the planning, design, instruction, and evaluation of an ethics training program.

Dr. McIntosh’s early publications directly address the need for attending to the nuances of planning and leadership for long-duration space exploration. Current planning and leadership models used in short-distance space exploration are not sufficient for longer-term exploration. Her publications document the concerns and suggestions for improvement of key National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) personnel regarding planning and leadership for long-duration space missions. By pinpointing the critical leadership and planning skills needed for successful long-duration space exploration, this body of work has provided guidance for selection, training, and personnel decisions for long-duration space exploration.

Whistleblowing is critical to the identification and addressing of ethical misconduct. However, stressors inherent to whistleblowing often impede rational thinking and act as a barrier to effective whistleblowing. This body of research examines the impact of the source of misconduct on whistleblowing behaviors in addition to affective and cognitive differences between individuals who do blow the whistle on misconduct and those who do not. These findings have important implications for how to address the cognitive and affective challenges that whistleblowers are likely to face.

Over the course of these and other projects, she has learned how to plan according to project deadlines and demands as well as effectively communicate and coordinate project work with collaborators. Furthermore, in working on these projects, she has communicated with and balanced the interests of multiple stakeholder groups.