Applicant Info

People (and what we're working on this year)

Social Area Directory
Core Faculty:
Gerald Clore, Benjamin Converse, Ed Diener, Jamie Morris, Brian Nosek, Shige Oishi, Sophie Trawalter, Timothy Wilson
Other Socially Interested Faculty:
Eileen Chou, James Coan, Angeline Lillard, Fred Smyth, Barbara Spellman, Bethany Teachman
Research Scientists and Post Docs:
Samantha Heintzelman, Kosta Kushlev
Graduate Students:
Jordan Axt, Hyeonjin Bak, Diane-Jo Bart-Plange, Hyewon Choi, Charlie Ebersole, Anup Gampa, Lindsay Juarez, Minha Lee, Brandon Ng, David Reinhard, Adi Shaked, Jane Tucker, Erin Westgate
Casey Eggleston, Becca Frazier, Elizabeth Gilbert, Carlee Beth Hawkins, Kelly Hoffman, Jesse Kluver, Calvin Lai, Felicity Miao, Matt Motyl, Kathleen Schmidt, Thomas Talhelm
Core Faculty
Gerald Clore In my lab, we study emotion and social cognition, including the role of emotion in judgments, decisions, perceptions, thoughts, and memories. Some current projects focus on emotion in morality, art, identity, embodied cognition, visual perception, and long term memory.
Ben Converse In my lab we social judgment, self regulation, and decision making in a social context. Our current focal projects explore competition and cooperation, reciprocity, interplay of group and individual goal pursuit, and moral judgment.

Ed Diener (CV) Ed Diener was a professor at the University of Illinois from 1974 until 2008 and is now Professor Emeritus, and a Senior Scientist for the Gallup Organization. Diener is now a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He was the president of three scientific societies and the editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Diener was the founding editor of Perspectives on Psychological Science and a co-founder of Journal of Happiness Studies. He has over 340 publications and 112,000 citations of his work, and has been awarded many of the top scientific awards in psychology, as well as honorary doctorates. Diener explores the personality and cultural influences on SWB, as well as the influences of income on well-being. He works on the development and validation of diverse measures of SWB. He recently has been exploring the beneficial effects of subjective well-being on health, social relationships, productivity, and citizenship. Diener spearheaded the drive to use national accounts of subjective well-being for policy purposes. In 2000 Diener proposed that nations establish national accounts of well-being, and he has a number of publications explaining and defending this idea. His current research interests are: 1. Interventions to raises subjective well-being, 2. Optimal levels of well-being for health, relationships, and performance, 3. How much do enjoyable moods motivate choice of behavioral alternatives.

Jamie Morris (CV) In my lab we take a social neuroscience approach to explore a variety of issues related to social perception and social cognition. We are currently working on identifying neural systems underlying our ability to understand the actions, beliefs and intentions of others. We utilize many techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging, event-related potential recordings, molecular genetics, and behavioral measures.

Brian Nosek In my lab we study thoughts and feelings that occur outside of conscious awareness or control and how they influence perception, judgment and action.  We apply this in a variety of domains, particularly, stereotyping, prejudice, ideology, and morality.  We also pursue methodological innovations and maintain infrastructure for improving behavioral research. 
Shige Oishi (CV) In my lab we explore a variety of issues related to culture, social ecology, and well-being broadly defined. We are currently working on residential mobility and well-being, linguistic analysis of happiness, felt understanding and misunderstanding, and friendship. The globe is our laboratory! 
Sophie Trawalter In my lab, we study phenomena related to social diversity.  Specially, we study how people navigate intergroup contact, focusing on how social identity affects physiology, thoughts, feelings, and behavior in intergroup contexts.  The aim of this work is to develop viable ways to help individuals cope with the challenges of intergroup interactions and diversity more generally.
Timothy Wilson We have been studying many facets of self-knowledge and social cognition. In research on affective forecasting, for example, we examine how well people can predict their emotional reactions to future events. In studies on fantasy and daydreaming, we have been looking at the conditions under which people can entertain themselves with their own minds versus getting bored.

Other Socially Interested Faculty
Eileen Chou My interdisciplinary lab focuses on the organizational, social, and psychological forces that regulate individual and group behavior. Our research approach integrates several behavioral regulators, including incentives (economics), structure (organizational theory), and person-context fit (social psychology). We investigate the intricate balance between conflict and cooperation and various issues related to decision-making.
James Coan In my lab we study the neural systems supporting social interaction, emphasizing socially mediated forms of emotion regulation and the evolution of social interdependence in humans.  Our lab utilizes observational measures in concert with electoencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Angeline Lillard In my lab we study theory of mind and pretend play. We have recently been focused on how people can change as a result of engaging with fiction--from pretend play to novels to television.    This includes whether children learn from pretense. We also study the social and cognitive effects of Montessori education.
Fred Smyth I study the development and influence of implicit academic and professional self-concepts and stereotypes. In collaboration with Brian Nosek, I direct The Full Potential Initiative, an NSF-funded longitudinal study to understand the relation between implicit cognition and ongoing gender gaps in some scientific fields and careers. 

Barbara Spellman My lab (sometimes known as the SPylab or LawLab) does research on memory and higher-order cognition and also looks at ways such research can inform intelligence analysis and the legal system. Thus, our investigations cross the border between cognitive and social psychology and students from both areas are members of the lab.

Bethany Teachman Our lab investigates cognitive and perceptual processes that contribute to the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders. We
are especially interested in how reactions that occur outside of our
control or conscious awareness contribute to fear and anxiety.
Samantha Heintzelman
Research Scientists and Post Docs
Kosta Kushlev

Grad Students
Jordan Axt (CV) I am a sixth-year doctoral candidate. My research focuses on stereotypes and intergroup relations, specifically how implicit associations shape our beliefs and behavior. With Sophie Trawalter, I am studying boundary conditions of the Cross-Race Effect. With Brian Nosek, I have been developing new paradigms to assess implicit bias.
Hyeonjin Bak I am a first-year working with Sophie Trawalter. My research interests include intergroup relations, stereotyping, and bias. More specifically, I am interested in investigating why and when people engage in discriminatory behaviors and ways to reduce intergroup biases and conflicts.
Diane-Jo Bart-Plange I am a first year graduate student working with Sophie Trawalter in the Social Cognition and Behavior Lab. I have interests in prejudice, discrimination, and intergroup relations. I currently do research on colorism, and am interested in the role of skin-tone, phenotype, and social identity in racial bias.
Hyewon Choi My research interests include culture, emotion, and well-being. With Shige Oishi, I study cultural and socio-ecological factors on well-being. With Jerry Clore, I investigate the role of other's emotion as information.
Charlie Ebersole (CV) My research focuses on understanding contextual factors that influence the reproducibility of scientific findings. In addition, I am interested in ideological groups (such as religious or political groups) and how changing group memberships influence individuals. I work primarily with Brian Nosek and Shige Oishi. To see what I'm working on, you can visit my Open Science Framework page here.
Anup Gampa As I begin my academic journey, I am involved in projects studying decision-making. Particularly, I am interested in the work in Nosek's lab, which Brian succinctly expresses as studying the gap between what we think we do and what we actually do. I also am looking forward to creating meaningful collaborations in the community psychology labs.
Lindsay Juarez I am a sixth-year working with Ben Converse and Tim Wilson. My research focuses on the conflicts people encounter in the course of goal pursuit- which goal to pursue, which means to employ- and how people make trade-offs when faced with temptations, roadblocks, and alternative paths.
Minha Lee I'm interested in social cognition, culture, and well-being. I study people's erroneous predictions of future emotions and how to fix those errors with Tim Wilson. With Shige Oishi, I study how cultures maintain spread their differences in understanding the causes of human behavior.
Brandon Ng As a student of Jamie Morris, Shige Oishi, and Sophie Trawalter, I seek to use social neuroscience methodologies to understand how psychological processes such as empathy, identity threat, and stereotyping, interact with cultural values. My research interests include cultural neuroscience, Asian American identity, biculturalism, intergroup relations and prejudice, and social exclusion.
David Reinhard I study how social contexts influence motivation and emotion. With Benjamin Converse, I am investigating how rivalry influences the way people pursue their goals. With Gerald Clore, I am examining how various social-cognitive factors influence the intensity of emotions.
Adi Shaked One of the unique things about people is that outcomes usually depend more on who we know and the closeness of our relationships than on our personal characteristics. Such challenges have shaped mechanisms that enable us to build, maintain and repair social relationships. I study the role of reasoning and moralistic punishment in making us more attractive to others and what happens when our mistakes make us vulnerable.
Jane Tucker I am interested in a variety of topics related to the self and social judgment. My work with Timothy Wilson asks questions such as how do people's desires and self-perceptions affect their judgments of others, why are we so reluctant to give our friends social feedback that we would want to receive, and how do people make daily decisions regarding charitable behavior? With Ben Converse, I also study different types of work motivation.
Erin Westgate (CV) I study boredom, interest, and why some thoughts are more engaging than others. I’m particularly interested in the experience of thinking and the underlying principles that govern conscious and unconscious thought. I work with my advisor Timothy Wilson on boredom and the challenge of being alone with one's thoughts. I also work with Brian Nosek and Shige Oishi on implicit social cognition and culture.
Becca Frazier My research interests center around group dynamics, leadership, and ethics. With Brian Nosek I've been looking at the role that implicit cognitions play in facilitating group-focused behavior and self-sacrifice. With Jon Haidt I've been investigating how leaders can activate "hive psychology" and create environments that foster ethical behavior.
Casey Eggleston My research interests include emotion, social cognition, gender, romantic relationships, and economics of the family. With Tim Wilson, I am working on a study of affective forecasting and values affirmation. With Shige Oishi, I'm studying residential mobility and romantic relationships. With Jerry Clore, I am exploring the relationship between perception and social resources.
Elizabeth Gilbert I study higher-order social cognition with an eye towards how such research can inform the legal system. I am particularly interested in how people reason about causation and blame. My current research with Bobbie Spellman addresses how such reasoning is influenced by morality judgments, analogical thinking, and cultural differences. With Ben Converse, I also study voting behavior and how to increase voter turnout.
Carlee Beth Hawkins I am interested in debiasing motivations and strategies, and their consequences for social identification and non-identification, as well as social and political judgment and behavior. With Brian Nosek and Sophie Trawalter, I investigate the extent to which individuals value overcoming unwanted biases, the strategies they recruit to do so, and the conditions under which they are successful.  
Kelly Hoffman My research interests include intergroup relations, stereotyping, and prejudice. I am working with Sophie Trawalter to investigate how these phenomena affect the dynamics of intergroup interactions and individuals’ health and well-being over time.
Jesse Kluver I’m a PhD student in the Darden school of business, and also active in the social psychology area of the psychology department.   I'm interested in social emotions, self-sacrifice and self-transcendent experiences, and prosocial motivations. With Jon Haidt and others I study the evolution of human eusociality and social interdependence. I'm particularly interested in intergroup conflict and the processes leading to group performance and cooperation.
Calvin Lai In my research, I study implicit social cognition, psychological change, and intergroup relations. With Brian Nosek, I am investigating the how and when implicit social cognitions (e.g., attitudes, stereotypes, self-concept) change.
Felicity Miao My research interests are in culture and well-being. With Shige Oishi, I am studying questions of money and happiness, interpersonal relationships across cultures, and strategies for self-reflection. With Jamie Morris, I am studying the psychophysiology of residential mobility.
Matt Motyl I study what makes it so difficult for people to discuss politics and religion without yelling at each other. From a socioecological perspective, I examine how people with differing value systems form distinct communities and what the intrapersonal, intragroup, and intergroup consequences of this geographic segregation are. With Jon Haidt and Brian Nosek, I examine how living in these segregated communities affects cognition. With Sophie Trawalter, I examine how living in these moral enclaves promotes a sense of belonging and affects intergroup interactions. With Shige Oishi, I study the positive intrapersonal benefits of living in socially supportive moral communities. With Jamie Morris, I study the neurological and psychophysiological basis of moral conflict.
Kathleen Schmidt My research interests lie within the general realm of social cognition. I have multiple projects with Brian Nosek examining racial bias, the correlates of implicit pro-white preferences, and attitude structure and function. With Tim Wilson, I have been working on the ironic effects of empathy, how victim information influences helping behavior, and how social and environmental feedback can influence self-perception. I am also involved in Sophie Twawalter's laboratory investigations on racial interaction and perception.
Thomas Talhelm Spending two years writing and teaching in China inspired me to try to understand where cultural differences come from, including the huge differences I felt between northern and southern China. I research how those differences might be connected to the south's history growing rice and north's history growing wheat. At UVa, I also worked with Jerry Clore on how mood and analytic thought training affects the way people think. You can check out some of my writings on my homepage.
Last updated: July 2015