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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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