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