Applicant Info

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

Social Area Directory
Core Faculty:
Gerald Clore, Benjamin Converse , Jamie Morris, Brian Nosek, Shige Oishi, Barbara Spellman, Sophie Trawalter, Timothy Wilson
Other Socially Interested Faculty:
Eileen Chou, James Coan, Angeline Lillard , Bethany Teachman
Research Scientists and Post Docs:
Fred Smyth, N. Sriram , Lane Beckes, Marie Hennecke
Graduate Students:
Jordan Axt, Casey Eggleston, Anup Gampa, Becca Frazier, Elizabeth Gilbert, Carlee Beth Hawkins, Kelly Hoffman, Lindsay Juarez, Jesse Kluver, Calvin Lai, Minha Lee, Felicity Miao, Matt Motyl, Brandon Ng, David Reinhard, Kathleen Schmidt, Adi Shaked, Thomas Talhelm, Erin Westgate
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.

Jamie Morris 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 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! 

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.

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.
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.
Research Scientists and Post Docs

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. 

N. Sriram My current work covers variants of the Implicit Association Test, scale invariant measures of response latency constructs, an online survey system, and mega-analyses of the large data volumes derived from Project Implicit (PI: Brian Nosek).  In my consulting role, I work with investigators who utilize Project Implicit for basic and applied research.
Lane Beckes I study interpersonal relationships, prosocial behavior, social emotion regulation, and empathy. Currently I am a post-doc working with Jim Coan in the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory where we are investigating social emotion regulation and empathy using functional magnetic resonance imaging. 
Marie Hennecke I am a Postdoc funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. I work with Jerry Clore and Ben Converse. My interests are in motivation and self-regulation. More specifically, I am researching how construing activities, other people, and one's feelings as means versus ends in themselves impacts behavior. I'm also interested in how motivation and self-regulatory abilities change across adulthood.

Grad Students
Jordan Axt My research focuses on social cognition and intergroup relations, specifically in regards to stereotypes and prejudice.  With Sophie Trawalter and Brian Nosek, I study how and when we categorize others, as well as the cognitive effects of this categorization process.   
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lindsay Juarez I am interested in stereotypes and how minority group members respond to situational or interpersonal cues that indicate belonginess or lack thereof. I also study how individuals think about and balance their choices and behavior when faced with conflicting options. I work with Sophie Trawalter and Timothy Wilson.
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.
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.
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.
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 My research interests include social judgment, self-knowledge, motivation, and embodied cognition. With Ben Converse, I am looking at the various factors that influence performance and motivation during competition. In addition, I am studying the various influences of embodied metaphors on perceptions and judgments with Jerry Clore.
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.
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.
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. This year, I'm in China on a Fulbright scholarship, continuing my research with Shige Oishi on differences within China that I suspect trace back to historical differences in agriculture. I'm also working with Jerry Clore on how asking people to think in ways opposite to their culture can actually produce a sort of cognitive "backlash." You can check out some of my ideas at my blog.
Erin Westgate My research interests include affective forecasting and implicit cognition, as well as their applications to close relationships. With Tim Wilson, I am studying categories of thought and forms of positive self-reflection, such as daydreaming.
Last updated: September 6th, 2012