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 processes, 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

An Le

I am a first-year graduate student in the SITH lab. I completed my Master's degree in Experimental Psychology at Western Illinois University and my Bachelor's degree in International Business at Foreign Trade University in Vietnam. Generally, I am interested in the self: how people perceive themselves and how their self-perceptions influence their thinking and behaviors. Currently, my research focuses include social identity, uncertainty, and extremism. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, exploring new places, and trying and cooking new cuisines.

Olivia Kuljian

Ashley Worley

I am a second-year graduate student in the SITH Lab. I am originally from the Kansas City area and received my bachelor's degree from The University of Kansas. My research focuses include social identity, intergroup emotions, intergroup threat, uncertainty identity theory, and how these theories inform stereotypes and prejudice. I have two kids that kept me busy in my free time. I also enjoy following the sports teams from my Hometown.

Olivia Kuljian

Burch Carter

Burch is a second-year graduate student in the SITH lab.

Olivia Kuljian

Olivia Kuljian


I am a third-year graduate student in the SITH lab. I completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Humboldt State University in Northern California. My research focuses include social identity, uncertainty, intergroup relations, dehumanization, leadership, and prototypicality. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, oil painting, and spending time with my cat, Rumpy.

Olivia Kuljian

Josh Brown

I am a fourth-year 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 the causes and consequences of uncertainty, intergroup processes, and political identification. I distract myself from school with camping, cooking, and good music.

Josh Brown

Lab Alumni

Elizabeth Niedbala

Elizabeth is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory. She is an experienced social and behavioral scientist who is passionate about serving the public by conducting high-quality research. She is skilled with experimental and survey methodology and statistical analysis. Her research focuses on group members' behavioral, attitudinal, and physiological reactions to complex situations including aversive emotions, uncertainty, risk, pain, and stress.

Elizabeth Niedbala

Ethan Dahl

Ethan is currently an Assistant Research Scientist at the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities. His work involves research and program evaluation. He is interested in applying his training in the SITH lab to understanding how individuals with disabilities construct their social identity. He hopes to use this information to create more inclusive communities that foster positive social identities for individuals with disabilities.

Ethan Dahl SITH Lab Headshot Texas Tech