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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance

Ross May, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor & Associate Director of the Family Institute    419-204-2568   Vita

ross may

Get to know Dr. May


As an experimental psychologist, my passion and energy is devoted to improving the human condition by extending the understanding of the mind-body interaction. To that end, my expanding research program focuses on Psychocardiology, the interplay between psychological states and physiology. Specifically, my research investigates the relationship between hemodynamics, cardiac autonomic modulation, and affective states both intra and interpersonally (couples and families). My current constructs of interest include negative affect (i.e. anger, anxiety, burnout, and depression), forgiveness, and mindfulness.


  • B.A., Psychology, Ohio Northern University
  • M.A., General Psychology, Western Carolina University
  • Ph.D., Applied Experimental Psychology, Old Dominion University,
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychocardiology, Family Institute at Florida State University

Publications and Other Scholarly Activities

May, R. W., Bamber, M., Seibert, G. S., Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., Leonard, J. T., Salsbury, R. A., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Understanding the physiology of mindfulness: Aortic hemodynamics and heart rate variability. Stress, 19(2), 168-174. doi: 10.3109/10253890.2016.1146669

May, R. W., Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., Seibert, G. S., & Fincham, F. D. (2016). Physiology of school burnout in medical students: Hemodynamic and autonomic functioning. Burnout Research, 3(3), 63-68.

Fincham, F. D., May, R. W., & Beach, S. R. H. (2016). Forgiveness interventions for optimal close relationships: Problems and prospects. In C. Raymond Knee and Harry T. Reis (Eds.), Positive Approaches to Optimal Relationship Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

May, R. W., Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., Brown, P. C., Koutnik, A. P., & Fincham, F. D. (2014). School burnout and cardiovascular functioning in young adult males: A hemodynamic perspective. Stress, 17(1), 79-87. doi: 10.3109/10253890.2013.872618.

May, R. W., Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., Hawkins, K. A., Batchelor, W., & Fincham, F. D. (2014). Effects of anger and trait forgiveness on cardiovascular risk in young adult females. American Journal of Cardiology, 114, 47-52. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2014.04.007

Sanchez-Gonzalez, M. A., May, R. W., Koutnik, A. P., & Fincham, F. D. (2014). Impact of negative affectivity and trait forgiveness on aortic blood pressure and coronary circulation. Psychophysiology, 1-8. doi:10.1111/psyp.12325


  • Large scale research grant recipient (<$250K)
  • Mentorship of student research grant awards
  • Multiple publications involving faculty and student (undergraduate and graduate) collaborators



“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
– Albert Pines


Management of multiple research projects Research methodology and statistical analysis Undergraduate and graduate research mentorship Translational approach to dissemination of empirical research Diversity of grant writing experience


My father and mother live in my hometown of Spencerville, Ohio. My only sibling, my sister, and her husband currently reside in Las Vegas, NV.




“As noted by those much wiser than myself, life is a journey and not a destination. Let us heed this advice and do our best to enjoy the ride.”

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