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

Olivia Kuljian

I am a new 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, 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 second 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 social identity, self-uncertainty, and information processing. I distract myself from school with camping, cooking, film, visual art, and theatre.

Josh Brown

Elizabeth Niedbala

I am a fifth 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 focuses on group members' behavioral, attitudinal, and physiological reactions to complex situations including aversive emotions, uncertainty, risk, pain, and stress. Current projects of mine are testing how uncertainty influences perceived  prototypicality and self-stereotyping, group member responses to ostracism, and the physiological markers of uncertainty. During my free time I enjoy playing sand volleyball and tasting wine. 


Elizabeth Niedbala

Lab Alumni

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