Faculty Profiles

RCGD strives to produce the best social science research possible and seeks opportunities to recruit faculty who enhance our reputation. The presence of other social scientists throughout the Institute for Social Research (ISR) and the larger University community provides rich intellectual resources for collaborative initiatives.

Joshua M. Ackerman

Joshua AckermanFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR
Assistant Professor, Social Psychology

More about Joshua M. Ackerman

Joshua M. Ackerman’s research explores the role that adaptive psychological mechanisms play in behavioral and decision-making contexts. Much of what we think about (or don’t think about), the decisions we make (or not), and the (dis)satisfaction we have with those decisions is driven by a fundamental set of evolved predispositions interacting with subtle features of our current environments. In approaching psychology from this perspective, his research has concentrated on interpersonal cognition how and why people think, prefer, choose, and act with or because of each other. This work has led to projects investigating threat identification, romantic relationships, self-control and risky decisions, and nonconscious effects of touch sensations. Currently, he is interested in understanding how exposure to contagious disease cues and bodily factors such as immune system functioning interact to influence various forms of social behavior.

Phillip Bowman

Phillip BowmanFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

More about Phillip Bowman

Professor Bowman’s scholarship focuses on diversity issues in research methodology, higher education and public policy; social psychological issues in racial/ethnic disparities, and African American Studies. He is an active national and international lecturer and consultant on diversity issues in research methodology, higher education and public policy.

Cleopatra Howard Caldwell

Cleopatra Howard CaldwellFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Chair and Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health;
Adjunct Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Cleopatra Howard Caldwell

Research interests include social relationships and social supports within African American communities. Current research activities are in three areas: 1) the mental health consequences of adolescent childbearing within an intergenerational family context; 2) enhancing health behaviors of African American fathers and their adolescent sons; and 3) the family support functions of Black churches. Teaches courses in the areas of adolescent health, social support and social networks in health behaviors, and theories of health behavior change.

Linda Chatters

Linda ChattersFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work;
Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

More about Linda Chatters

Major focus of research has been the study of aging as it relates to a variety of social contexts (i.e., the family, church and community), the nature of personal and social relationships (i.e., adult children, church members, kin vs. non-kin) and individual outcomes (i.e., social support, subjective well-being, and perceptions of health status). A particular emphasis of her work has been on the investigation of adult development and aging among the black population using data from a national probability sample of black adults (National Survey of Black Americans). Dr. Chatters holds joint appointments in the School of Public Health (Health Behavior and Health Education) and the School of Social Work. She is co-author (with Robert Joseph Taylor and Jeff Levin) of “Religion in the Lives of African Americans: Social, Psychological and Health Perspectives” (Sage Publications). Dr. Chatters is a Fellow of The Gerontological Society of America, Behavioral and Social Sciences Section and has also recently been designated by Thomson-ISI® as a Highly Cited Researcher™ in the Category of General Social Sciences.

Sonya Dal Cin

Sonya Dal CinResearch Associate Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Sonya Dal Cin

My major research interest is the impact of stories on attitudes, beliefs, self-concept, and behaviors. My work examines the processes of story-based belief change, the role of identification with characters, the impact that stories have on behavior, and how these effects might occur outside viewers’ conscious awareness. I am primarily interested in health-related outcomes; current research includes studies on how watching risk behavior in movies might influence viewers’ own risk behaviors.

My work has appeared at national and international conferences, and has been published in journals including Addiction, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Health Psychology, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of Neuroscience, Psychological Science, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, and Tobacco Control.

Matthew Diemer

Matthew DiemerFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR
Associate Professor, School of Education

More about Matthew Diemer

Research interests include how young people overcome racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and other constraints in school, college, work, and civic/ political institutions. He is particularly interested in how marginalized people develop critical consciousness, which is a careful analysis of societal inequalities, the motivation to produce social change, and participation in social or political action.

David Dunning

David DunningFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about David Dunning

His research focuses on the psychology underlying human misbelief. In his most widely-cited work, he showed that people tend to hold flattering opinions of their competence, character, and prospects that cannot be justified from objective evidence–a phenomenon that carries many implications for health, education, the workplace, and economic exchange. He also examines how many of these same processes also injure judgments made by groups.

Phoebe Ellsworth

Phoebe EllsworthFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Frank Murphy Distinguished Professor of Law and Psychology, Professor of Law, Law School;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Phoebe Ellsworth

Current work is divided into two separate topics. The first is the relationship between people’s interpretation of their situation and the emotions they experience (an appraisal theory of emotion). Ellsworth is currently extending the basic theory to cultural similarities and differences in emotions, testing the relationships between social structure, appraisals, emotions, and behavior. The second is the study of psychology and law. Interests include jury behavior, the death penalty, eyewitness testimony, and the use of social science in law.

Martin Gold

Martin GoldEmeritus Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Emeritus Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Martin Gold

Current research interests are in field experiments on the treatment of juvenile delinquency, focusing particularly on alternative secondary schools. His other interests include social psychological theory, the influence of close relationships, and adolescent development. Gold has taught courses on adolescence, juvenile delinquency, social psychology, and the application of science to public policy.

Carmen R. Green

Carmen R. GreenFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Anesthesiology, Medical School;
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School;
Professor of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health;
University of Michigan Health System

More about Carmen R. Green

Dr. Carmen Green is a tenured professor and pain medicine physician who is an active member of several scientific organizations, founding chair for the American Pain Society’s Special Interest Group for Pain and Disparities, serves on the editorial board for Pain Medicine and the Journal of Pain, and was the guest editor for Pain Medicine’s first special issue on disparities in pain care. She has received several honors scholarship, clinical work, and community service. Dr. Green is on the IOM’s Health Care Services Board, Governor’s Pain and Symptom Advisory Committee, Secretary of Health and Human Services Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, NIH’s National Center for Medical Rehabilitation and Research, NIH’s Eunice Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, and was a member of the Mayday Special Committee on Pain and the Practice of Medicine, is an elected member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists, a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Her health services research agenda focuses on health and health care disparities (elder, minority, and women’s health), pain management outcomes, physician decision-making, and access to care. She has documented disparities due to age, race, gender, and class across the lifespan and has helped to develop and diversify the health professional pipeline by serving as faculty and on advisory boards for programs designed to achieve a critical mass of minorities and women in higher education, health sciences, and clinical medicine. She has spoken widely on health and pain care disparities; physician variability in decision-making; and health policy.

Sol Hart

Sol HartFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Associate Professor of Environment, LSA

More about Sol Hart

Sol Hart specializes in risk communication related to environmental, science, and risk issues. Professor Hart’s research investigates the psychological processes underlying effective risk communication. This research area includes understanding the role of the media in motivating and engaging the public around a variety of issues and how to create effective messages that can cross ideological divides and resonate with broad sections of the public. Professor Hart’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, The Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His research has been published in a number of peer reviewed journals, including Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, Science Communication, Public Understanding of Science, Medical Decision Making, Society and Natural Resources, and Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture.

Arnold K. Ho

Arnold K. HoFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Psychology, LSA;
Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies, LSA

More about Arnold K. Ho

Arnold Ho is an assistant professor of psychology and of organizational studies at the University of Michigan. He is interested in the interplay of individual and societal level factors in the production of group-based social inequality. In particular, much of his current research explores how individual differences in prejudice and anti-egalitarianism interact with perceived threats to the hierarchical status quo to drive behaviors aimed at maintaining inequality. Ho’s research has been published in top academic journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Personality, and Psychological Science, and has been covered by numerous news outlets, including the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Boston Globe, Psychology Today, and Time. Ho received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University in 2011.

Website: Psychology of Inequality Lab

James S. Jackson

James S. JacksonResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about James S. Jackson

Research efforts include conducting national and international surveys of black populations focusing on racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, physical and mental health and coping. Jackson is currently principal investigator of one of the most extensive social, political, economic, and mental and physical health studies of the African American and Caribbean populations ever conducted, “The National Survey of American Life” and the “The Family Survey across Generations and Nations,” and the “National Study of Ethnic Pluralism and Politics.” Teaching centers on social factors in health, race and racism, and social exchange and social influences.

Website: Curriculum Vitae

Shinobu Kitayama

Shinobu KitayamaResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Robert B Zajonc Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Shinobu Kitayama

Throughout my career as a psychologist, I have investigated the role of culture in modifying, shaping, and even sometimes forming a variety of psychological processes including cognition, emotion, and motivation. In this work, the independence/interdependence theory of culture and self has been instrumental both as a heuristic device for generating new hypotheses and as an overarching theoretical frame within which to integrate diverse empirical findings. In more recent work, I have tried to expand this work by 1) looking specifically at origins of cultural variations, 2) expanding data base to non-student adult populations, and 3) beginning to explore underlying brain processes. I am hopeful that by pursuing these avenues of research, it will be possible to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of how culture and the human mind influence each other, and how culture influences the mind in such a way that culture becomes an integral element of the mind itself. I believe that this work has the potential of overcoming the traditional dichotomy between culture and nature a dichotomy that has plagued the field of social and behavioral sciences for a long time.

Shawna J. Lee

Shawna J. LeeAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor, School of Social Work

More about Shawna J. Lee

Professor Lee is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work, a faculty affiliate at RCGD, and a member of the Center for the Analysis of Pathways from Childhood to Adulthood (CAPCA). Her research interests include: fathers’ parenting behaviors and their links to child wellbeing; prevention of child maltreatment; and the use of physical punishment by American parents. Dr. Lee’s research agenda aims to (1) increase our understanding of how fathers’ parenting behaviors impact child wellbeing and family functioning more broadly, and (2) use that knowledge to develop evidence-based interventions that promote both fathers’ and mothers’ positive parenting and reduce risk for child maltreatment.

Currently, in a project funded by the United States Air Force, Dr. Lee is developing and implementing a technology-based parenting intervention for men in military families. The main goal of this intervention is to promote fathers’ positive engagement with their new babies through the deployment and reintegration cycle. Professor Lee completed a NIMH-funded predoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan and was a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia University. Her research examining fathers and risk for child maltreatment was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Briana Mezuk Ratcliff

Briana MezukFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health
Co-Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health

More about Briana Mezuk Ratcliff

Research interests:

  1. To understand the interface between behavior and physiology in order to integrate social, psychological and biological approaches to understanding health and illness over the life course
  2. To explore the multiple pathways linking psychiatric and medical disorders, particularly chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  3. To inform interventions which reflect an integrative approach to health to effectively reduce the burden of mental disorders

Some current projects include investigating the relationship between depression and frailty in later life, examining how stress and health behaviors relate to risk of depression in the context of type 2 diabetes, and identifying how factors such as race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status relate to psychiatric-medical comorbidity.

Elizabeth Birr Moje

Elizabeth Birr MojeFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
George Herbert Mead Collegiate Professor of Education, Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Professor of Education, and Dean, School of Education

More about Elizabeth Birr Moje

Moje studies the intersection of youth literacy, culture, and identity in urban communities and secondary schools. In her community ethnography, Moje focuses particularly on the literacy, identity, and cultural practices of traditionally marginalized adolescents, whereas her in-school research (ethnographic, survey, and experimental work) includes the study of literacy as a tool for learning in academic disciplines. Two primary goals of her work are to inform the study of adolescent development and to inform school-based practices in the secondary school subject matter areas. Current funded projects include Making “Makin’ It Possible (William T. Grant Foundation), Developing Scientific Literacy Through the Use of Innovative Textual Tools (National Science Foundation), and Study of Social and Cultural Influences on Adolescent Development and Motivation (NICHD/OSERS/OVAE).

Website: Elizabeth Birr Moje

Richard E. Nisbett

Richard E. NisbettResearch Professor Emeritus, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Theodore M Newcomb Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Psychology, LSA;
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, LSA

More about Richard E. Nisbett

I study cultural differences in thinking and reasoning, environmental effects on intelligence, and ways of improving reasoning and intelligence.

Website: Richard Nisbett

Louis A. Penner

Louis A. PennerAdjunct Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Adjunct Research Scientist, LSA;
Senior Scientist, Communication and Behavior Oncology Program, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State

More about Louis A. Penner

Primary research interest is in psychosocial variables as they affect reactions to life-threatening diseases and the quality of healthcare people receive. He is currently the PI on an NCI grant that focuses on situational and dispositional influences on treatment-related stress among pediatric cancer patients and their families He is also a Co-PI on another NCI grant, in which he studies the impact of race-related attitudes on the quality of cancer treatment racial/ethnic minority patients receive.

Muniba Saleem

Muniba SaleemFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, LSA;
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, LSA

More about Muniba Saleem

Dr. Saleem’s research examines how threatening social contexts, specifically media, influences interpersonal and intergroup conflict. Dr. Saleem’s research reveals that media depictions of minorities as violent and aggressive increases White Americans’ hostile perceptions towards these groups as well as support for aggressive actions against members of these groups. Other work reveals that unfavorable representations in mainstream media lead minorities to disengage from sociopolitical integration and motivate them to seek collective actions aimed at improving their group image in society. Recent work explores factors that inhibit White Americans from engaging in racial dialogue and supporting social movements aimed at improving racial equality. Dr. Saleem’s work has been published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Child Development, Aggressive Behavior, Journal of Communication, and Communication Research.

Denise Sekaquaptewa

Denise SekaquaptewaFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Psychology, Professor of Women’s Studies, Associate Chair of Psychology, LSA

More about Denise Sekaquaptewa

Current research is focused on stereotyping, prejudice, stereotype threat, and effects of category salience on test performance. One line of research addresses the relationship between stereotype use and discrimination. Her research shows that people who rely on stereotypes in processing have more negative social interactions with members of stereotyped groups, independent of how they feel about the stereotyped group. A second line of research concerns the test performance of solo vs nonsolo group members. When one’s social category is made salient via solo status (being the only member of one’s social category in a group), academic performance is diminished, especially when the situation is one where the solo is stereotyped as a poor performer (e.g., females answering questions about science). Performance is less affected when the solo is not negatively stereotyped.

Website: Denise Sekaquaptewa

Jacqui Smith

Jacqui SmithResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Research Professor, Survey Research Center, ISR;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Jacqui Smith

Research interests focus on the following: Profiles of psychological functioning in the old and oldest-old; Psychological predictors of longevity; Potentials and risks for development and successful aging; and Application of intelligence and life knowledge during adulthood.

Robert J. Taylor

Robert TaylorDirector, Program for Research on Black Americans, Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Harold R Johnson and Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work

More about Robert J. Taylor

Robert Joseph Taylor is the Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work. He is a Faculty Associate with the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research and the Center for Afro-American and African Studies. He also is affiliated with the Center for Research on Race, Religion and Health. Professor Taylor has published extensively on the informal social support networks (i.e., family, friends, and church members) of adult and elderly Black Americans. He has been Principal Investigator of several grants from the National Institute on Aging which examine the role of religion in the lives of Black and White elderly adults. He has edited two books Family Life in Black America (1997) and Aging in Black America (1993) with James S. Jackson and Linda M. Chatters. He is the editor of African American Research Perspectives and has been on several editorial boards including the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Family Relations, and Review of Religious Research.

Colwick Wilson

Colwick WilsonAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Nursing, School of Nursing

Carolyn Yoon

Carolyn YoonFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Marketing, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

More about Carolyn Yoon

Current research interests center on understanding memory, cognition, and judgment processes across the lifespan in social, medical, and consumer-related contexts. Areas of study include:

  1. age differences in use of processing strategies
  2. cross-cultural differences in cognition and decision making
  3. influence of implicit memory on judgments

Yoon teaches courses in marketing management in the business school.

Cristine Agresta

Cristine AgrestaFaculty Associate, ISR
Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Michigan Performance Research Laboratory, University of Michigan

More about Cristine Agresta

Biomechanics of injury, injury resilience, functional adaptability, and rehabilitation related to endurance sports and athletic performance

David Chock

David ChockFaculty Associate, ISR
Visiting Research Scientist, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

More about David Chock

Areas of research:

  1. The modeling of the transport and transformation of pollutants in the atmosphere, air quality data analysis and the statistical properties of the US ozone air quality standard
  2. Environmental epidemiology studying the impact of air pollutants on morbidity and mortality
  3. Climate science and sustainability, including the role of the transportation sector in CO2 stabilization and well-to-wheels analysis of fuels and vehicle technology
  4. Consumers’ travel mode choice in the presence of new technology and infrastructure

Ashley Harrell

Ashley HarrellFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies, University of Michigan

More about Ashley Harrell

Ashley Harrell is an assistant professor of Organizational Studies and Psychology (by courtesy). Her work is centered largely on structural and social-psychological solutions to problems of cooperation, collective action, and social order. One key area of her research looks at the dynamics of leadership, power, and influence in groups, with a focus on the social-psychological forces that both:

  1. promote “good leadership” and
  2. allow groups and organizations to successfully meet their goals

She has also studied the mechanisms by which interpersonal moral judgments and social networks produce cooperation, generosity, and solidarity in groups. Prior to joining Michigan, she earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of South Carolina.

Ioulia Kovelman

Ioulia KovelmanFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Associate Professor of Psychology, LSA, University of Michigan

More about Ioulia Kovelman

Research interests are in language and reading development in monolingual and bilingual infants, children, and adults. Her work includes both typical and atypical language and reading development using a variety of behavioral and brain imaging methods (fMRI, fNIRS).

Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth RobertsFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Michigan

More about Elizabeth Roberts

Research Interests: Critical study of medicine, science and biotechnology, modernity, exchange, kinship, race, religion, Latin America, Ecuador.

Priti Shah

Priti ShahFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Professor of Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience and Educational Psychology, University of Michigan

More about Priti Shah

Research interests:

  • The comprehension of visual displays used in a wide variety of contexts, including elementary science and math education and scientific research
  • Understanding two basic mechanisms that support complex cognition, working memory and executive functions, and the degree to which they can be improved.

Jan Van den Bulck

Jan Van Den BulckFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan

More about Jan Van den Bulck

Jan Van den Bulck received a BA and MA in Communication Sciences from the University of Leuven in Belgium, an MA in political science from the University of Hull (UK), returned for a PhD at the University of Leuven and later received a DSc in Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences. He is currently a Professor of Communication Studies and an RCGD Faculty Associate.

As a social scientist Professor Van den Bulck is interested in how people learn from mediated narratives. From about the age of 11 most people realize that a mediated story is not real, and yet our perceptions of medical risks, crime, or procedural habits sometimes appear to reflect the mediated (often fictitious) image of reality.

As an epidemiologist, Professor Van den Bulck is interested in the media as a factor in health. He has had a particular interest in the relationship between media use and sleep. The hardware, content, and use of the media evolve so fast, that this is a constantly developing and changing topic.

Scott Atran

Scott AtranAdjunct Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Directeur de Recherche, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

More about Scott Atran

Research and teaching interests are centered in the following areas: Cognitive and linguistic anthropology, ethnobiology, environmental decision making, categorization and reasoning, evolutionary psychology, anthropology of science (history and philosophy of natural history and natural philosophy); Middle East ethnography and political economy; natural history of Lowland Maya, cognitive and commitment theories of religion, terrorism and foreign affairs.

Eugene Burnstein

Eugene BurnsteinSenior Research Scientist Emeritus, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor Emeritus of Psychology, LSA

More about Eugene Burnstein

Research interests continue to be concerned with the cognitive processes underlying social influence and decision making in groups. More recently Burnstein has used evolutionary models of altruism and foraging to analyze self-sacrifice, cooperation, and adaptation to social change.

Jesse Chandler

Jesse ChandlerAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Jesse Chandler

Research interests continue to be concerned with the cognitive processes underlying social influence and decision making in groups. More recently Burnstein has used evolutionary models of altruism and foraging to analyze self-sacrifice, cooperation, and adaptation to social change.

Yan Chen

Yan ChenResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Daniel Kahneman Collegiate Professor of Information, School of Information

More about Yan Chen

Research interests include mechanism design, behavioral and experimental economics. Current projects:

  • User-generated content in online communities
  • Online microfinance
  • School choice. Teaching interests are in the area of experimental economics, information economics, and user-generated content

Pamela Davis-Kean

Pamela Davis-KeanResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Research Professor, Survey Research Center, ISR;
Professor, Psychology, LSA

More about Pamela Davis-Kean

Dr. Davis-Kean is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where her research focuses on the various pathways that the socio-economic status (SES) of parents relates to the cognitive/achievement outcomes of their children. Her primary focus is on parental educational attainment and how it can influence the development of the home environment throughout childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood. Davis-Kean is also a Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research where she is the Program Director of the Population, Neurodevelopment, and Genetics (PNG) program. This collaboration examines the complex transactions of brain, biology, and behavior as children and families develop across time. She is interested in how both the micro (brain and biology) and macro (family and socioeconomic conditions) aspects of development relate to cognitive changes in children across the lifespan.

Website: Population, Neurodevelopment and Genetics Program (PNG)

Eric Dubow

Eric DubowResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

More about Eric Dubow

Dr. Dubow conducts cross-sectional and longitudinal studies of risk and resource variables in children’s academic and behavioral adjustment. He is a co-PI on three studies in the Aggression research Group: 1) the Columbia County Longitudinal Study, a 40-year study of the development of aggression and competence over time and across generations; 2) the Israeli-Palestinian Exposure to Violence study, a longitudinal study of the effects of exposure to ethnic-political violence and violence in other contexts (e.g., school, family) on Middle East youth’s mental health outcomes; and 3) the exposure to violence study and subsequent violence and weapons use among adolescents and young adults, a 4-wave study of urban youth. He also collaborates with several Toledo-area community agencies conducting needs assessments of family and youth problems, and evaluating their school-based prevention programs aimed at enhancing self-esteem and decision-making skills, and reducing problem behaviors.

Allison Earl

Allison EarlFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Allison Earl

My primary research interests are understanding the causes and consequences of biased selection and attention to persuasive information, particularly in the context of health promotion. Simply stated, I am interested in what we pay attention to and why, and how this attention (or inattention) influences attitudinal and behavioral outcomes, such as persuasion and healthy behavior. In particular, my work has addressed disparities in attention to information about HIV prevention for African-Americans compared to European-Americans as a predictor of disparities in health outcomes. I am also exploring barriers to attention to health information by African-Americans, including the roles of stigma, shame, fear, and perceptions of irrelevance. At a more basic attitudes and persuasion level, I am currently pursuing work relevant to how we select information for liked versus disliked others, and how the role of choice influences how we process information we agree versus disagree with.

Stephen M. Garcia

Stephen M. GarciaFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Organizational Studies, Associate Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Stephen M. Garcia

As a social psychologist, Stephen is interested in decision-making and social comparison. Current projects examine social comparison factors that shape competition and willingness to enter profitable joint ventures.

Website: Stephen M Garcia home page

Richard Gonzalez

Richard GonzalezCenter Director, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Director, BioSocial Methods Collaborative, RCGD, ISR;
Amos N Tversky Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Statistics, LSA;
Professor of Marketing, Stephen M Ross School of Business;
Professor of Integrative Systems and Design, College of Engineering;
Research Professor, Center for Human Growth & Development

More about Richard Gonzalez

Studies judgment and decision making processes at both the basic and applied levels. His theoretical work includes formal models of decision making under risk and uncertainty. His applied work in decision making extends to eyewitness identification, medical decision making, consumer behavior, transportation decisions and sustainability. He also conducts mathematical modeling of group processes and develops statistical techniques for data analytic problems in psychology. He has developed statistical models for the analysis of dyadic data. Gonzalez teaches graduate-level statistics courses and directs the Biosocial Methods Collaborative.

Website: The Gonzo Lab

Bio-Social Methods Collaborative

Kris Harrison

Kris HarrisonFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Chair and Professor of Communication Studies, LSA

More about Kris Harrison

Studies judgment and decision making processes at both the basic and applied levels. His theoretical work includes formal models of decision making under risk and uncertainty. His applied work in decision making extends to eyewitness identification, medical decision making, consumer behavior, transportation decisions and sustainability. He also conducts mathematical modeling of group processes and develops statistical techniques for data analytic problems in psychology. He has developed statistical models for the analysis of dyadic data. Gonzalez teaches graduate-level statistics courses and directs the Biosocial Methods Collaborative.

Website: www.kristenharrison.org

James Hilton

James HiltonFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs;
Dean of Libraries, University Library;
Professor of Information, School of Information

More about James Hilton

James Hilton is the Dean of Libraries and University Librarian at the University of Michigan. He is also the Vice Provost for Digital Educational Initiatives, responsible for developing strategies and policies around educational technology and other cross-campus digital education initiatives.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Hilton served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer at the University of Virginia from 2006 until 2013. From 2001 to 2006 he was the Associate Provost for Academic Information and Instructional Technology Affairs at the University of Michigan, and served as the Interim University Librarian for one year in 2005. He was a member of the faculty at the University of Michigan in the Psychology Department where he served as the Chair of Undergraduate Studies between 1991 and 2000. He is a three-time recipient of the LS&A Excellence in Education award, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and recipient of the Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award. He has published extensively in the areas of information technology policy, person perception, stereotypes, and the psychology of suspicion.

Dr. Hilton received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Princeton University in 1985.

L. Rowell Huesmann

L. Rowell HuesmannResearch Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Amos Tversky Collegiate Professor of Communication Studies and Psychology, LSA

More about L. Rowell Huesmann

Huesmann’s research focuses on understanding the psychological foundations of aggressive behavior and in particular on understanding how the observations of others behaving violently influences the development of a youth’s aggressive and violent behavior and produces a contagion of violence. He specializes in conducting longitudinal studies of youth growing up over many years including the well-known Columbia County Longitudinal Study, the Oak Park Longitudinal Study, the Cross-National Television Study, the Metropolitan Area Child Study in Chicago, and his current Exposure to Violence Study for Palestinian and Israeli Youth. Over the past 45 years, Huesmann has authored over 100 widely cited scientific articles and books including Growing Up To Be Violent (1977), Television and the Aggressive Child (1986), and Aggressive Behavior (1994). He was Director of RCGD from 2006 to 2012 and was Editor of the international journal Aggressive Behavior from 2004 to 2012. He was the 2005 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Media Psychology and in 2010 was elected a member of the USA National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention. He is a past President of the International Society for Research on Aggression and a life member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge University, UK.

Website: Profile on Rowell Huesmann

Rowell Huesmann Website

Jerome Johnston

Jerome JohnstonResearch Professor Emeritus, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Research Professor Emeritus, Educational Studies, School of Education

More about Jerome Johnston

Johnston’s Teaching, Learning and Technology Program focuses on technology and learning issues. Studies have explored how learning is shaped by factors in the product design as well as by factors outside the product: teaching practices, student assignments, arrangement of the learning space and classroom interaction patterns. He has studied a wide range of content domains, including social studies, science, writing, adult literacy, foreign languages, and social values. In his current work he is constructing electronic networks of teachers and studying what is required to build group cohesiveness and develop new skills in an environment with limited face-to-face interaction.

Ethan Kross

Ethan KrossFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

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Although the emotions we experience usually serve an adaptive function, sometimes they take hold of us in ways that are harmful, interfering with how we ideally want to think, feel, and behave. These are the situations that most intrigue me. My research aims to illuminate how people can effectively control their emotions under such circumstances. My motivation to pursue this issue is driven by two goals: to shed light on the basic mechanisms that underlie emotion regulation and examine their translational implications.

Because emotions are relevant to nearly every sub-discipline of psychology, my work sits on the boundaries of multiple areas of research (e.g. social-personality, clinical, cognitive-neuroscience, developmental). I integrate across these areas both in terms of the types of questions I ask and in the methods I use to address them. For example, my work brings together experiments that isolate causal mechanisms with longitudinal studies that examine how psychological processes unfold naturally over time in daily life. My research is also multi-level. It examines how phenomena play out across different levels of analysis (e.g., explicit, implicit, autonomic, neural, behavioral, cultural) to build integrative models of how they operate.

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Israel Liberzon

Israel LiberzonFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Psychiatry, Medical School;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Israel Liberzon

Emotional dysregulation (exaggerated or inappropriate emotional response) and inability to cognitively modulate this response, are the hallmarks of Psychiatric disorders like Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Phobia, and Depression. One of the main interests of our lab focuses on functional neuroanatomy of emotions of response to stress and trauma, and as it relates to pathophysiology of stress related disorders. We are investigating specific patterns of cognitive-emotional-somatic interaction and the underlying neurocircuitry in healthy controls and psychiatric patients, and the effects of abnormal interactions on emotional regulation and decision making processes.

Kevin F. Miller

Kevin F. MillerFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Education, School of Education;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Kevin F. Miller

Kevin F. Miller’s research focuses on the nature and sources of early mathematical and literacy development, on cross-cultural similarities and differences in academic learning and performance, and more recently on utilizing video records to engage teachers with issues of instructional practice. He is a developmental and school psychologist by training, who works to understand the interplay of developmental and educational processes in the acquisition of mathematical competence and literacy. Most of his research involves cross-cultural comparisons between children growing up in China and the United States. Miller is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Harold Neighbors

Harold NeighborsEmeritus Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor Emeritus of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

More about Harold Neighbors

Research interests include psychiatric epidemiologic field methods with African Americans, racial/ethnic influences on the diagnosis of mental disorder, and the use of professional services among the mentally ill. He is currently developing methods designed to encourage African American men with Major Depressive Disorder to seek help. Neighbors teaches a master’s lecture class and a doctoral seminar on racial and ethnic health disparities. He is also Program Director of the NIH-funded doctoral training grant, Promoting Ethnic Diversity in Public Health Research.

Website: Harold W. Neighbors, Ph.D.

Sela Panapasa

Sela PanapasaAssociate Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Sela Panapasa

Dr. Panapasa’s research focus examines the role socio-demographic change plays in the health and well-being of island populations across the lifecourse. In her early research she studied family support and intergenerational exchanges among aged Pacific Islanders living in the US and Pacific region. These works examined change among elderly living arrangements and headship status as a response to demographic and socioeconomic shifts from modernization and development. Her current research will establish baseline information to address and eliminate health disparities among Native Hawaiian other Pacific Islanders living in the United States (funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities). She is also reviewing the quality of health data resources in the US Territories (funded by the US Department of Interior) and working with these governments to improve the use of these data to measure disease processes and health concerns. Her interests include family demography, race and ethnicity, measuring health disparities and comparative studies.

Tam Perry

Tam PerryAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Tam Perry

Her ethnographic research addresses housing transitions of older adults from a network perspective. As health, mobility and kin and peer networks alter, she explores how older adults contemplate their homes and its contents. She studies housing transitions because, while aging in place is often preferred and cost-effective, inevitably some older adults will undertake the emotional and physical labor, as well as the negotiation of medical, financial and long-term care infrastructures, involved in relocation.

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Jeffrey Sanchez-BurksFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Stephen M Ross School of Business

More about Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Current work focuses on cultural differences and similarities in people’s approach to workplace collaboration, conflict and negotiation with an interest in the role of social emotional attunement. A second stream of research examines the antecedents to creativity and innovation. In addition, I conduct studies on how leaders and team members construe the emotional distribution of collectives (i.e., emotional aperture) and the consequences for various errors one can make in reading these distributions. Finally, I have a stream of research on the dynamics of diversity and intergroup dynamics which integrates prior thinking about group dynamics with recent advances in cultural psychology.

Website: Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

Colleen Seifert

Colleen SeifertFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Colleen Seifert

Colleen Seifert studies creative problem solving processes at both the basic and applied levels. Her research includes projects on memory and misinformation, divergent thinking and improvisation, and learning through causal explanations. She has conducted applied work in design processes, eyewitness memory, medical decision making, consumer behavior, and sustainability. She also conducts qualitative studies of group instruction in higher education and develops creative techniques for improving outcomes in design. Seifert is the director of the Design Science program, a Rackham Interdisciplinary Graduate Degree. Seifert teaches graduate-level creativity courses and large-scale methods courses in psychology.

Robert Sellers

Robert SellersFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Education, School of Education
Charles D Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychology, LSA;
Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

More about Robert Sellers

Current research focuses on the influence of the interaction between person characteristics and contextual factors on adjustment and behavior. Specific interest focus in two areas. The first area examines the significance and meaning that African Americans attribute to race in their self-definition. This research has resulted in a conceptual framework for the investigation of African American racial identity. The second area of research focuses on factors associated with the academic and social development of college athletes. Particular attention has been placed on the role of individual motivation as well as sociodemographic and structural forces.

Beverly I. Strassmann

Beverly I. StrassmannFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Anthropology, LSA

More about Beverly I. Strassmann

Research focuses on evolution and human behavior. Current projects include a longitudinal study of the influence of family structure on child health and survival in the Dogon of Mali, West Africa. Strassmann uses evolutionary theory to understand the social niche of the child and to predict favorable and unfavorable health outcomes. She also focuses on kinship to explore the interaction between biology and culture. In particular she is interested in the genetic effects of cultural practices that constrain female sexuality, such as patrilineality and polygyny. She teaches courses on quantitative field methods, human reproductive and behavioral ecology, and natural selection.

B. I. Strassmann’s CV

Daphne C. Watkins

Daphne C. WatkinsFaculty Associate, PRBA, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Director of Joint Doctoral Program, Associate Professor, School of Social Work

More about Daphne C. Watkins

Dr. Watkins is a mixed methods researcher who studies the influence of gender role socialization on health status over the adult life course for underserved groups. To date, her research has focused on understanding the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; developing evidence-based strategies to improve the physical and mental health of black men; and increasing knowledge about the intersection of culture, ethnicity, and gender.

Dr. Watkins holds multiple appointments at the University of Michigan such as Assistant Professor of Social Work, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Faculty Associate for the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research. After earning her doctorate, Dr. Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan as well as a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) career development award at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Daphne Watkins bio

Oscar Ybarra

Oscar YbarraFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Management and Organizations, Stephen M Ross School of Business;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Oscar Ybarra

Research deals with how people make decisions about their social surroundings and navigate their web of interactions with known and trusted others (friends, family) and those who they may not know and even dislike (strangers, outgroup members).
Research programs fall along four lines, and the common denominator is that the social relates strongly to the cognitive. I study how people understand and make decisions about the social aspects of the world versus those related to tasks and work, how people make decisions about others and the cognitive biases that may preclude creating social connections, how social interaction and relationships support and enhance cognitive abilities and performance, and how the cognitively stimulating nature of social interaction is affected by trust, asynchrony, and inauthenticity in ones approach to others.

Robert Zucker

Robert ZuckerFaculty Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor of Psychiatry, Medical School;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Robert Zucker

Major research interest is the etiology of substance abuse over the life span, and preventive programming that will change course. An ongoing community based prospective high risk family study of initially preschool age children and their substance abusing parents, currently 27 years in process, provides the core database for this work. Seven spin off projects using the longitudinal sample focus on the relationship of macrolevel community and neighborhood influences to individual behavior, and the interplay between genetic vulnerability, brain function, behavior, socialization structure, and life phase task variation in producing troubled outcomes. Current teaching involves a field based research methods course for undergraduates, research mentoring of postdoctoral fellows, and post-residency physicians, and lecturing to medical school residents and medical students. A NIDA/Fogarty International Center funded program supports development of the substance abuse research infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe. Current work is primarily in collaboration with Ukrainian and Polish scientists. Prior work also involved collaborations with Slovakia and Latvia.

Paul Boxer

 Paul BoxerAdjunct Faculty Associate, ISR
Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University

More about Paul Boxer

His own research interests center on the development, prevention, and treatment of aggressive and disruptive behavior in children and adolescents. Boxer is particularly concerned with the application of normative models of aggression to understanding and reducing this behavior among high-risk and seriously emotionally disturbed youth.

Robin Edelstein

Robin EdelsteinFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

More about Robin Edelstein

Research interests: personality and individual differences, close relationships, social neuroendocrinology, emotion.

Anthony P. King

Anthony P. KingFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Assistant Professor Psychiatry Research, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan

More about Anthony P. King

Research interests:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and other trauma-related disordersMajor Depression
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mind-Body Interventions for Anxiety and Trauma
  • Self-Compassion in treatments for Depression and Anxiety
  • Neurobiology and Neuroimaging of PTSD
  • Genetics of PTSD, and Gene x Environment Interaction in Psychiatric Risk and Resilience
  • Neurocircuitry of Cognitive-Emotional Regulation
  • Neuroimaging of Mindfulness-based Interventions and Meditation

Kaitlin Raimi

Kaitlin RaimiFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Assistant Professor of Pubic Policy; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

More about Kaitlin Raimi

Kaitlin Raimi studies how social motivations promote or prevent sustainable behaviors, especially those related to climate change. She is particularly interested in how people compare their own beliefs and behaviors to those of other people, how the desire to make a good impression can influence people to mitigate climate change, and how one adopting one sustainable behavior affects subsequent environmental decisions. She also has ongoing work on how different ways of framing climate change affect people’s attitudes to climate policy.

Brenda Volling

Brenda VollingFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

More about Brenda Volling

Research interests: the social and emotional development of infants and young children and the role of family relationships in facilitating children’s developmental outcomes. I am particularly interested in the role of fathers, the quality of sibling relationships, and parent-infant attachment. My current research focuses on changes in the family and the older child’s adjustment after the birth of a second child (the Family Transitions Study), postpartum depression and infant attachment, the development of young children’s prosocial behavior, and sibling jealousy.

Daniel Weissman

Daniel WeissmanFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Associate Professor, Cognition & Perception, University of Michigan

More about Daniel Weissman

Research interests: Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience; Attention; Cognitive Control.