Texas Tech University


Zachary Hohman

My research investigates the intersection of two broad domains of social psychology: 1) group processes and intergroup relations, and 2) attitudes and persuasion. Within these domains I investigate how social groups influence people's self-conception, attitudes, physiology, and biology as they relate to health behaviors. The goal of my research is to integrate basic cognitive processes into social interactive processes, societal processes, individual process, and internal processes that explain group and individual health behavior.

Zachary Hohman Headshot 2015 SITH Lab

Within the group process and intergroup relations domain, I am interested in how group-level constructs are organized in, and influence the development of, people's self-concept. For example, for one part of my research program I investigate the motivational underpinnings of group identification – e.g., why thoughts of death motivate people to identify with a group. Across six experiments and three publications I have demonstrated that thinking about death leads to group identification (and various health outcomes associated with group identification) because of the uncertainty surrounding death (as predicted from uncertainty-identity theory) rather than the terror surrounding death (as predicted by terror management theory).

For attitudes and persuasion, I am interested in how group-level phenomena impact people's attitude development, attitude change, and behavior. For example, I have investigated how attitude ambivalence and social norms interact to predict health-related behavioral intentions and future behaviors. Across three experiments I have been able to demonstrate that when people are attitudinally ambivalent about a health-related topic (adolescent marijuana use in one study and college-aged tobacco use in another) they look to the group (and the norms of that group) in order to know what to think (what their attitude should be) and how to behave.

Graduate Students

Josh Brown

I am a brand-new graduate student in the SITH lab. I was raised 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, and earned my Bachelor's Degree at Utah Valley University. I'm interested in social identity, uncertainty reduction, intragroup behavior, and social metacognition. I distract myself from school with camping, cooking, film, visual art, and theatre.

Josh Brown

Ethan Dahl

I am a fourth year graduate student in the SITH lab. I grew up in the small town of Kennedy Minnesota, completed my Bachelors Degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and my Masters Degree at Ball State University. My broad research interests include the areas of social identity, marginalization, risk taking, social exclusion, and prototypicality. Outside of school I enjoy all things outdoors, video games, and brewing beer.

Ethan Dahl SITH Lab Headshot Texas Tech

Elizabeth Niedbala

I am a fourth year graduate student in the SITH lab. I am originally from the Chicagoland area and I received my undergraduate degree from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. My research interests include intergroup violence, extremism, uncertainty, risk-taking, and stress. Current projects of mine are focused on self-sacrifice during group-level retaliation, how ostracism impacts group identification, and the physiological markers of uncertainty. During my free time I enjoy playing sand volleyball and tasting wine. 

Elizabeth Niedbala
2016 SITH Lab Photo-Lab Meeting

Undergraduate Lab Manager

Mikaela Greathouse

I am a junior Psychology Major here at Tech, and this is my fourth semester working in the lab, my second as undergraduate lab manager. Outside of school, I am very involved in my sorority, Delta Gamma and my job as a paid researcher with the Honors College.

Mikaela Greathouse 2016 SITH Lab Texas Tech

Undergraduate RAs

Alexandra Abide

I am a junior psychology and biology major here at Texas Tech. I hope to attend medical school at TTUHSC and specialize in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. When I'm not busy upholding my title of clumsiest person on Earth, I'm either with friends, listening to hard rock, or watching 80s movies.

Alexandra Abide 2017 SITH Lab Texas Tech

Sarah Hirsch

Hi, my name is Sarah Hirsch! I'm a born and raised Texan from Allen, a city a little north of Dallas. I'm a junior psychology major, with a sociology minor. After graduation, I plan on getting my masters or doctorate in Forensic Psychology. I'm hoping to go somewhere out of state because I love to travel and experience new things! I plan on working closely counseling inmates and their families. I am actively involved in the Lubbock community through a service organization called Miller Girls. When I'm not at school or volunteering, I enjoy going on hikes and watching Netflix!

Sarah Hirsch

Jonnie McMaster

My name is Jonnie McMaster and I am a Psychology major with a minor in Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. I am from Georgetown, Texas which is where I spent the summer completing an internship at Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute. I knew that working there would either cement my passion for mental health services or show me that I needed to pursue a different path. I fell in love with mental health services and know that this is the field I needed to be in. I hope to one day obtain my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, where hopefully I would be able to work with a broad range of clients. When I'm not busy with school, sorority, and other organizations I love Netflix, my cat Salem, and Tex-Mex.

Jonnie McMaster

Kara Pepper

I'm Kara Pepper, and I am an undergraduate psychology major. Upon graduation, I plan to attend graduate school and eventually obtain a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. I want to work primarily with Families, focusing on the improvement of each individual's experience within the family. The foundational family unit affects all other aspects of a person's life, so this is where I hope to begin my work.

Kara Pepper 2017 SITH Lab Texas Tech

Abishag Porras

Hello, I am currently an undergraduate psychology major and sociology minor. I plan to attend graduate school here at Texas Tech in Clinical Psychology. The goal is to work in a hospital or mental health setting until I can open my own practice. I am drawn to psychology because people are fascinating creatures. When I'm not geeking out on psychology I enjoy reading, drinking tea, watching Netflix, and exploring new places.

Abishag Porras 2017 SITH Lab Texas Tech

Kaley York

My name is Kaley York and I am from San Angelo, a small west Texas town. I am a junior Psychology major and I love to travel and work out. My future plans consist of becoming a licensed specialist in school psychology because I love kids and I know that it is a job that I am meant to do. Although I love living in Lubbock, I intend to move back to San Angelo after graduation to be closer to family and begin working. 

Kaley York 2017 SITH Lab Texas Tech

Daniela Zavala

Hello, I am a junior at Texas Tech. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Spanish. I plan to go to graduate school somewhere in Texas for Counseling Psychology. When I'm not in school you can find me at the rec or at home hanging out with my dogs and watching shows on Netflix.

Daniela Zavala

Psychological Sciences

  • Address

    Texas Tech University, Department of Psychological Sciences, Box 42051 Lubbock, TX 79409-2051