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, RCGD, ISR
Associate 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.

Kristine Ajrouch

Kristine AjrouchResearch Faculty, RCGD, ISR

More about Kristine Ajrouch

Dr. Ajrouch’s research focuses on aging, health, immigration and family in the United Statues and the Middle East; social networks over the life course; and Arab American identity and well-being. Currently, she is working with a multidisciplinary team of researchers to study Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias among Arab Americans and directs the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Riana E. Anderson

Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

More about Riana E. Anderson

Riana Elyse Anderson, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. She received her PhD in clinical and community psychology at the University of Virginia and completed a clinical and community psychology doctoral internship at Yale University’s School of Medicine. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in applied psychology at the University of Pennsylvania supported by the Ford and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations.

Riana uses mixed methods in clinical interventions to study racial discrimination and socialization in Black families to reduce racial stress and trauma and improve psychological well-being and family functioning. She investigates how protective familial mechanisms such as parenting and racial socialization operate in the face of risks linked to poverty, discrimination, and residential environment. She is particularly interested in how these factors predict familial functioning and subsequent child psychosocial outcomes, especially when enrolled in family-based interventions. As such, Riana developed a five-session intervention entitled EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) to alleviate racial stress and trauma in parents and adolescents in order to facilitate healthy parent-child relationships, parent and adolescent psychological well-being, and healthy coping strategies.

Current Work:

Dr. Anderson developed and directs the Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race (EMBRace) intervention. EMBRace is a 5-session family-based racial socialization (RS) and racial stress and trauma (RST) management intervention designed to reduce parent and adolescent RST and improve familial psychological and physiological well-being and adolescent academic engagement. EMBRace involves skill development regarding content (RS: cultural pride, preparation for bias, promotion of distrust, and colorblindness/egalitarianism/silence about race), process (RS knowledge, stress management, and coping) and delivery (affection, protection, correction, and connection). EMBRace is the first identified RS intervention for adolescents and their parents that uses culturally-specific theories and evidence-based practices to engage in racial encounters and reduce RST.

EMBRace utilizes narrative-sharing, individual and dyadic clinical work, and culturally-relevant experiences to help families engage, manage, and bond through the difficult topic of race in America.

Scott Atran

Scott AtranAdjunct Research Scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Adjunct Research Professor, Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

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.

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.

Eugene Burnstein

Eugene BurnsteinSenior Research Scientist Emeritus, RCGD, 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.

Cleopatra Howard Caldwell

Cleopatra Howard CaldwellFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Chair and Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, SPH;
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.

Jesse Chandler

Jesse ChandlerAdjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, 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, RCGD, ISR;
Daniel Kahneman Collegiate Professor of Information, SI

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

Sonya Dal Cin

Sonya Dal CinResearch Professor, RCGD, ISR;
Professor of Communication and Media,
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, RCGD, ISR;
Professor of Education, SoE;
Professor of Psychology, LSA

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.

Meagan Docherty

Adjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR

More about Meagan Docherty

Research Interests:

  • The development of problem behaviors, including aggression and violence, from childhood to young adulthood
  • Coping and exposure to violence, abuse, trauma, and crime
  • The development of callousness (i.e., the lack of guilt, empathy, emotional expression, concern, and psychopathy)
  • Adolescent delinquency and young adult offending, particularly gun carrying, drug dealing, and gang involvement
  • Family, peer, school, and neighborhood influences on youth behavior

Christine Dunkel Schetter

Christine Dunkel SchetterAdjunct Research Professor, RCGD, ISR;
Distinguished Research Professor, UCLA

More about David Dunning

Christine Dunkel Schetter is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at UCLA, where she runs the Stress Processes in Pregnancy Lab.

There, Prof. Dunkel Schetter and her students and collaborators conduct research on biopsychosocial processes in pregnancy.  A primary focus is on prenatal maternal stress conceptualized as environmental exposures (acute events and chronic conditions), emotional responses (anxiety and depression), and appraisals (perceived stress) and testing the effects on maternal outcomes including preterm birth, postpartum depression and offspring outcomes in infancy and early childhood. Preterm birth and postpartum depression are high incidence in the U.S. and globally, and pose many risks to the physical and mental health of individuals and families. The program of work further focuses on psychological and biological mechanisms and broad risk and psychosocial resilience factors.

This work involves prospective longitudinal studies of thousands of pregnant women of diverse race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status including studies of low-income populations and Latin American and African American women interviewed in person in English or Spanish. The importance of race/ethnicity in our work has led to programmatic research on racial stressors such as racism and discrimination and cultural resources such as familism to fully understand the biopsychosocial processes involved. A long-standing emphasis on social and personality processes includes studies on social support, relationship quality, and other concepts such as self-esteem, mastery and dispositional optimism.

Dr. Dunkel Schetter et al have documented that prenatal anxiety, defined as anxiety about a current pregnancy, reliably predicts length of gestation and that HPA mechanisms especially corticotropin-releasing hormone of placental origin (pCRH) are involved in the pathways linking pregnancy anxiety to earlier birth. The lab has also studied maternal and offspring cortisol with blood, saliva and hair samples and examined immune mechanisms, among others.  This program of work has implications for preventive interventions and translational work has been undertaken.

David Dunning

David DunningFaculty Associate, RCGD, 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.

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.

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.

Emily Falk

Adjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;

More about Emily Falk

Falk is an expert in the science of behavior change. Her research uses tools from psychology, neuroscience and communication to examine what makes messages persuasive, why and how ideas spread and what makes people effective communicators. Her research has been recognized by numerous awards, including early career awards from the International Communication Association, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Attitudes Division, a Fulbright grant, and Social and Affective Neuroscience Society, a DARPA Young Faculty Award, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. She was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science. She received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Stephen M. Garcia

Stephen M. GarciaAdjunct Faculty 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

Raven Garvey

Raven GarveyFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Anthropology; Associate Curator, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology

More about Raven Garvey

I study the influences of ecological, demographic, and social factors on Holocene hunter-gatherers’ behaviors and broader cultural change through time. My current field projects in farthest southern South America–Patagonia–combine archaeological data with evolutionary modeling to address questions at the intersection of human behavioral ecology and cultural transmission theory. My current lab-based projects are designed to test and develop models of cultural transmission and technological evolution, and I was recently awarded a fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2022-2023) to train in engineering and explore the the effects of wind on hunter-gatherers’ livelihoods and technologies. Please visit my home and Academia.edu pages for more information. 

Amie Gordon

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

More about Amie Gordon

Research in my lab focuses on uncovering the social cognitive, affective, and biological factors that shape our closest relationships. For example, we study the benefits of prosocial cognitions, emotions, and behaviors (e.g., perspective-taking, gratitude, responsiveness), as well as how these prosocial processes are affected by internal and external forces. In particular, we focus on the ways in which unseen influences, from biological dysregulation (e.g. lack of sleep, hunger, illness) to external stressors (e.g., time pressure, work stress), shape prosocial processes and relationship functioning. Our research goes beyond people’s own experiences to examine how they are affected by their relationship partner’s experiences, as well as by their perceptions and expectations of their relationship partners. An important component of our research is exploring how people influence each other psychologically, behaviorally, and physiologically both in the moment and over time. We also explore distinctively dyadic outcomes—how interactions are shaped not by each individual alone but by the unique ways in which people interact with each other.

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

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

More about Arnold K. Ho

Arnold Ho’s research examines the psychological and sociopolitical factors that contribute to group-based discrimination and inequality. For more information, please see his faculty profile here.

Mosi Ifatunji

Mosi IfatunjiAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

More about Mosi Ifatunji

Ifatunji’s primary research interests are in racial and ethnic theory and the methodologies used to study inequality and stratification. He is particularly interested in theorizing how non-phenomic characteristics contribute to racial classification and stratification. While most theories of race are based on assigning racialized meanings to people and populations according to perceived differences in skin color, hair texture and/or bone structure, he argues that racial classification often turns on non-phenomic characteristics, including language, religion, and geography. For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau recently recommended that we change our racial classification of immigrants from countries like Syria and Egypt from White to “Middle Eastern and North African.” For decades, proponents of this change have offered various rationales, but none of them reference phenomics. Therefore, he believes that; since non-phenomic characteristics contribute to the process of assigning racialized meanings to people and populations, we must revise the ontologies and theories that social scientists most often use when studying race and ethnicity. He is advancing this view by studying the ways in which African Americans and Black immigrants are racialized differently in the United States. His research draws on mostly quantitative methods, including: large-scale surveys, linked administrative data, social experiments, advanced statistics, and historiography.

For more information, please see his faculty profile here.

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.

Anthony P. King

Anthony P. KingAdjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR

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

Sara Konrath

Adjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Sara Konrath

Dr. Konrath’s research explores changes over time in social and emotional traits among American young people. Other research examines implications of these traits for individuals themselves and for other people. For example, she has published extensively on the health and happiness benefits of giving. She also creates and evaluates empathy-training programs for various groups, including young people, teachers, doctors, museums, and other organizations.

Dr. Konrath writes a popular Psychology Today blog (The Empathy Gap) and is regularly featured in media outlets, including the New York TimesTime Magazine, NPR radio, and BBC news. Her forthcoming book is called Culture of Burnout: American life in an age of increasing expectations (Oxford University Press). She is currently a Visiting Professor at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (2020-2021).

Ethan Kross

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

More about Ethan Kross

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.

Click here to learn about my current research

Amanda Leggett

Adjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Medical School

More about Amanda Leggett

Dr. Leggett’s research focuses on the development of a taxonomy of dementia caregiving care management styles and determining how style might be used to target interventions and optimize care. She is also interested in depression and sleep problems in caregivers and older adults more broadly.

Briana Mezuk

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

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.

Jamie Mitchell

Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work

More about Elizabeth Birr Moje

Jamie Mitchell is an assistant professor of social work and co-investigator of the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research. Her interdisciplinary research examines the mechanisms that patient-centered communication between older African American men and their physicians during the course of cancer and chronic disease care. She tests ways of intervening to increase family and health provider social support while examining how African American men navigate and express their psychosocial needs during medical visits. Currently, Mitchell is funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, to investigate how African American men and their physicians accommodate each other’s communications styles during medical encounters, in addition to evaluating how active patient participation and family involvement influence the health communication dynamic.

Enrique Neblett, Jr.

Enrique Neblett, Jr.Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education; Faculty Co-Lead for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Associate Director, Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center

More about Enrique Neblett, Jr.

Enrique W. Neblett, Jr. is a professor of health behavior and health education, faculty co-lead for Diversity Equity, and Inclusion, and associate director of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center. From 2008 – 2019, he was a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Neblett is one of the leading U.S. scholars in the area of racism and health, with a particular focus on understanding how racism-related stress influences the mental and physical health of African American young people. Through a research program that integrates psychology, biology, developmental and family science, and public health, his scholarship has added to the body of evidence that: 1) racism undermines the health and well-being of African American adolescents and young adults; and 2) Black youth’s beliefs about the significance and meaning of race, as well as family messages about race, can protect youth from the psychological and physical harm associated with exposure to racial discrimination. Using longitudinal and psychophysiological methods, Dr. Neblett and his collaborators have examined the mechanisms by which racial discrimination, internalized racism, and impostor feelings can affect health. This work also includes investigations of the interplay between youth’s sociocultural strengths and biological processes to understand the pathways by which youth are more vulnerable to, or protected against, the negative health effects of racism. In Dr. Neblett’s newest line of research, he conducts community-based participatory research with an eye toward developing and implementing interventions, programs, and policies to address the health consequences of structural racism and promote health equity.

Dr. Neblett’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He served a four-year term on the Society for Research on Adolescence Executive Council (2018-2022), and in 2018, was appointed Director of Diversity Initiatives in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC. Dr. Neblett serves as an associate editor for Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology and for Developmental Psychology. He was the Program Co-Chair for the 2021 American Psychological Association Society for the Psychological Study of Race, Ethnicity and Culture (Division 45) Biennial Conference and Chair of the 2013 National Black Graduate Conference in Psychology.

In 2022, Dr. Neblett was selected as a recipient of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Distinguished Career Award, and in 2021, he was named the inaugural recipient of the National Institute of Mental Health James Jackson Memorial Award. Dr. Neblett has also received several teaching and mentoring awards including recognition as Mentor of the Year by the Black Caucus of the Society for Research in Child Development (2019), the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring (2017), and the Chapman Family Teaching Award (2014). From 2006 – 2008, Dr. Neblett was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

Dr. Neblett earned his Sc.B. from Brown University and his M.S. from the Pennsylvania State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2006 and completed postdoctoral training at Howard University in Psychology and Cardiovascular Psychophysiology.

Karen Nielsen

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Karen Nielsen

Dr. Nielsen has expertise in multilevel modeling and techniques for modeling time-intensive longitudinal data, including data resulting from physiological sensors and wearable technology.  She is committed to developing innovations in statistics and quantitative methods based on practical questions.  Her research interests include the development and application of new statistical techniques for modern data challenges, such as integrating and interpreting multiple data sources with differing timescales, and adapting existing techniques to new use cases.

Dr. Nielsen earned her BA in Mathematics and Psychology at the University of Oklahoma, and her MA and PhD in Statistics and the University of Michigan.  Prior to joining Georgia State, Dr. Nielsen completed her postdoctoral training at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, where she worked with the BioSocial Methods Collaborative to develop methods for the analysis of multimodal data, such as time-series physiological measures and self-report data.

In addition to her methodological development work, Dr. Nielsen enjoys interdisciplinary collaborations across a variety of disciplines including psychology, gerontology, communication, kinesiology, and public health.

Daphna Oyserman

Adjunct Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Dapha Oyserman

Dr. Daphna Oyserman’s research examines how small changes in context can shift mindsets, and so the perceived meaning of behaviors and situations, with large downstream effects on important and consequential outcomes, including health and academic performance. Her theoretical and experimental work conceptualizes the underlying processes, which she then translates into real-world interventions. One line of work focuses on cultural differences in affect, behavior, and cognition – how people feel, act, and think about themselves and the world around them. A related second line of work focuses on racial, ethnic, and social class gaps in school achievement and health. Throughout, she examines how apparently “fixed” differences between groups may in fact mask highly malleable situated processes that can be profoundly influenced through small interventions that shift mindset. Select publications are available at her personal webpage.

Dr. Oyserman received a PhD in psychology and social work from the University of Michigan (1987) and served on the faculty of The Hebrew University, Jerusalem before returning to the University of Michigan, where she last held appointments as the Edwin J.Thomas Collegiate Professor of Social Work, Professor of Psychology, and Research Professor in the Institute for Social Research. She is the recipient of a W. T. Grant Faculty Scholar Award, a Humboldt Scientific Contribution Prize of the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and Society for Experimental Social Psychology.

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.

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.

Deborah Robinson

Research Investigator, RCGD, ISR

More about Deborah Robinson

Dr. Robinson is a researcher and senior program manager with more than 25 years of experience working with grassroots community groups, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, churches, government agencies, and most recently, public libraries. She has lived, worked in, or traveled to 75 countries to date and has over 15 years’ experience in survey research methodology. She is the Co-PI on the African Americans Living Abroad Project being conducted by the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA). There has not been a comprehensive study of African Americans living abroad globally because of numerous methodological challenges. Dr. Robinson is creating innovative strategies to address these challenges. In addition to the quantitative online survey, Dr. Robinson plans to conduct qualitative oral histories with African Americans currently living overseas.

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

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

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.

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.

Beverly I. Strassmann

Beverly 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

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.

Daphne C. Watkins

Faculty Associate, PRBA, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Director, Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training,
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work

More about Daphne C. Watkins

Daphne C. Watkins studies gender disparities and mental health over the adult life course using mixed methods research approaches.

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, age, and gender.

Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Professor Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research and a NIH career development award in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both at the University of Michigan.

Daphne Watkins bio

Lisa Wexler

Lisa Wexler

Research Professor, RCGD, ISR
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work

More about Lisa Wexler

Working with rural Indigenous communities, Dr. Lisa Wexler’s participatory and applied research program aims to prevent suicide and promote wellness from multiple levels. Focused on strengthening local systems of support, PC CARES (Promoting Community Conversations About Research to End Suicide) (R01MH112458) brings together community members and service providers to learn from scientific research so they can strategically apply it to their lives. She co-leads the statewide Alaska Native Collaborative Hub for Research on Resilience (ANCHRR) with Drs. Stacy Rasmus and Jim Allen (U19MH113138). ANCHRR identifies and describes the community level protective factors in 64 Alaska Native communities. The project strives to share and amplify these strengths across Alaska through annual Collaborative Hub meetings and on-going outreach and capacity building efforts. Additionally, Dr. Wexler is working with Dr. Rivkin in rural schools to incorporate Elder teachings and youth digital storytelling in the high school curriculum. Her school-based work also includes youth-led educational sessions focused on wellness, prevention and anti-bullying. Lastly, her current projects include an innovative, universal, family-focused screening in primary care clinics to restrict access to firearms.

Research Foci

  • Translating mental health research to community stakeholders and service providers to spark strategic, self-determined action
  • Describing and amplifying sources of strength and resilience in rural Indigenous communities that promote youth wellness
  • Upstream Alaska Native youth suicide prevention

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 AgrestaAdjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR

More about Cristine Agresta

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

Julie Ober Allen

Adjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR

More about Julie Ober Allen

My research seeks to better understand and address the complex interactions between contextual, psychosocial, biological, and behavioral factors involved in stress and coping processes that contribute to disparities in chronic disease among older U.S. adults, with an emphasis on the health of Black men.

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.

R. Khari Brown

Adjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;

More about R. Khari Brown

Brad J. Bushman

Adjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;

More about Brad J. Bushman

Brad J. Bushman studies the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He was a member of President Obama’s committee on gun violence, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on the topic of youth violence. His research has challenged several myths (e.g., violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex sell products, warning labels reduce audience size). He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have been cited over 35,000 times. His research has been published in the top scientific journals (e.g., SciencePNAS), and has been featured extensively in the mass media (e.g., BBCNew York TimesNPR). In 2017, he received the Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for “outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action” (jointly with Craig Anderson).

Nick Camp

Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies,
Assistant Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Nick Camp

Nick Camp studies the social psychology of racial inequality, focusing on where institutions and individuals come into contact. His main program of research examines the role routine police-citizen encounters play in undermining police-community trust, and how these disparities can be addressed, combining analyses of officer-worn body camera footage with community surveys. In other research, he examines the psychological consequences of racial inequities for how individuals consider people, places, and policies.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Nick was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, where he received his PhD in Social Psychology in 2018. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2009.

Linda Chatters

Linda ChattersFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Paula Allen-Meares Collegiate Professor of Social Work, SSW;
Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, SPH

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.

David Chock

David ChockAdjunct Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Visiting Research Scientist, UMTRI

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

Julia Lee Cunningham

 Julia Lee CunninghamFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR
Associate Professor, Management and Organizations, Ross School of Business
[email protected]

More about Julia Lee Cunningham

Julia Lee Cunningham is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Julia’s research focuses on the psychology of narratives, mindsets, and behavioral ethics, with a particular interest in understanding the ways in which narratives shape objective reality and how they can be leveraged to promote thriving in the workplace. Her research has been published in numerous leading academic journals in the fields of management and psychology, and has been featured in a variety of media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, National Geographic Magazine, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and Harvard Business Review.

Julia enjoys developing highly immersive and experiential pedagogy for students and executives, and brings cutting-edge academic research to the classroom and the organizations she works with. She teaches a negotiation course to MBA students and lectures in several executive education programs on leadership development, managing global teams, negotiation, and decision-making at Michigan Ross and Harvard. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors by Poets and Quants.

In addition to her work in the business school, Julia is dedicated to applying her expertise in behavioral science to address pressing societal challenges. She has extensive experience advising corporations, start-ups, non-profit organizations, and government agencies, and currently serves as a Governing Board Member of the Behavioral Science & Policy Association. Previously, she was a Lab Fellow in Institutional Corruption at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, and a Research Fellow in Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University. In 2018, she was selected as a Fellow at National Geographic Society.

Website: https://julialeecunningham.com/

Pamela Davis-Kean

Pamela Davis-KeanResearch Professor, RCGD, ISR;
Research Professor, SRC, ISR;
Faculty Associate, ICPSR, ISR;
Professor of Psychology, LSA;
Executive Director, University of Michigan Office of Research

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)

Kristin Drogos

Research Investigator, RCGD, ISR;
Lecturer I in Communication and Media, LSA

More about Kristin Drogos

Dr. Drogos’s research focuses on the role of media in the socialization of youth. More specifically, she researches how emerging media platforms, such as social media, influence youth development of self and identity. Dr. Drogos also works on projects that analyze the content of children’s television programming. Her past projects have assessed both educational and prosocial messages as well as anti-social and disrespectful messages present in programs popular among youth. In her most recent work, Dr. Drogos aims to build sustainable media literacy education programs for children.

Dr. Drogos is an award-winning writer and instructor and has taught courses on children and media, media psychology, social networks, and emerging media.

Eric Dubow

Research Professor, RCGD, ISR;

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.

Katrina R. Ellis

Katrina R. EllisFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Social Work

More about Katrina R. Ellis

Katrina R. Ellis is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work. Her research interests include family health interventions, cancer survivorship, racial and ethnic disparities in health, and family management of chronic health conditions. An overarching goal of her research is to support the health of families facing multiple, coexisting illnesses, with a specific focus on African Americans. Dr. Ellis employs a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in her work with families, clinicians and community groups. Her published research includes examinations of the influence of co-occurring illnesses on the psychosocial and behavioral health and well-being of cancer survivors and their family caregivers using quantitative dyadic data analysis techniques. She has also published research investigating psychosocial factors that influence the health behaviors and well-being of African Americans. Dr. Ellis’ future program of research includes the design and implementation of interventions to support the quality of life and healthy lifestyle and coping behaviors of cancer survivors, caregivers and family members.

She completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Cancer Health Disparities Training Program (Department of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health), the Center for Health Equity Research (Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine) and Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her time as a postdoctoral fellow, she worked with community-based participatory research projects in Greensboro and Rocky Mount, North Carolina focused on reducing the disproportionate burden of cancer morbidity and mortality and cardiovascular disease risk among African Americans and on digital health projects to support the wellbeing of peer supporters and families after a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Ellis is also a former Peace Corps Volunteer, having served as a Health Promotion Officer with the Ministry of Health in Fiji.

Stephanie Fryberg

Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Professor of Psychology, LSA

More about Stephanie Fryberg

Dr. Stephanie A. Fryberg is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. As a social and cultural psychologist, her primary research interests focus on how social representations of race, culture, and social class influence the development of self, psychological well-being, physical health, and educational attainment.
​Dr. Fryberg provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding the impact of racist stereotypes on Indigenous people, served as an expert witness in the Keepseagle v. USDA class action lawsuit, and consults with National Tribal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).  She also received the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Louise Kidder Early Career Award, the University of Arizona Five Star Faculty Award, and in 2011 was inducted into the Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame at Stanford University.

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

Lindy Greer

Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Professor for Management and Organizations, Ross School of Business

More about Lindy Greer

Lindred (Lindy) Greer is a Professor for Management & Organizations at Ross and the Faculty Director of the Sanger Leadership Center. Her research focuses on how to lead high-performing teams, with specific interests in leadership skills in conflict management, diversity and inclusion, power-flexing, and the communication of emotions. Lindy has published in management and psychology research outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. She has received awards for her research from the Academy of Management  and American Psychological Association. She is Deputy Editor at Organization Science, has served as an Associate/Senior Editor at the Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science, on the boards of six of the top management and psychology journals, and on the boards of professional associations such as the International Association of Conflict Management and the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management. 

Lindy received her B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. in social and organizational psychology from Leiden University in the Netherlands. She joined the team at Ross in 2019.

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 55 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, the 2014 recipient of the International Society for Research on Aggression’s award for Distinguished Lifetime Contributions to Aggression Research.  In 20110 he 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: Rowell Huesmann Website

Viktoryia Kalesnikava

Viktoryia KalesnikavaResearch Investigator, RCGD, ISR

More about Viktoryia Kalesnikava

Viktoryia Kalesnikava investigates the pathways toward– and disparities around– healthy aging. She uses mixed methods to examine the joint effects of mental and physical health, and social and built environment on the early onset of chronic diseases and neurocognitive aging. Other research investigates factors related to late-life suicide, using nationally represented survey data. As part of GREMAP, we use machine learning with NVDRS data to examine suicidality around long-term care. Other collaborations include data collection for the study on chronic stress and diabetes, evaluation of YMCA diabetes initiatives, and understanding how debate participation influences student achievement.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Suzanne Perkins

Suzanne PerkinsResearch Investigator, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR

More about Suzanne Perkins

Suzanne Perkins is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology and a Research Investigator at the Institute for Social Research Research Center for Group Dynamics. Her research focuses on how child maltreatment influences cognitive processing development. Working in developmental psychology as well as cognition and cognitive neuroscience, her work has explored poverty and language development; effects of exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) on child adjustment; violence exposure and the development of school-related functioning, and cognitive therapies for PTSD and major depressive disorder. Dr. Perkins is a former special education teacher who has also specialized in executive functioning and stress disorders in youth. 

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.

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.

Muniba Saleem

Muniba SaleemAdjunct Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor of Communication, UC Santa Barbara

More about Muniba Saleem

Dr. Saleem’s research explores the role of media in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts using social science quantitative methods. In the domain of intergroup conflict, Dr. Saleem has explored the role of media stereotypes in influencing attitudes towards and public policy decisions targeting Arabs and Muslims. Current work in this area explores how media influences immigrants’ ethnic and national identities, acculturation, trust and interest in American government, and relations with majority members. Dr. Saleem is examining the influence of media stereotypes and discrimination on Muslim American adolescents’ social identities using a longitudinal design. Finally, Dr. Saleem’s research has examined how media violence can influence aggression and reduce prosocial behaviors. Dr. Saleem’s work has been published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Child Development, Aggressive Behavior, Journal of Communication, and Communication Research.


Eleanor Seaton

Eleanor SeatonFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, ISR;
Associate Professor in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University

More about Eleanor Seaton

Dr. Eleanor K. Seaton is a developmental psychologist and her research is guided by four areas of inquiry that explore race among Black youth. The first area explores racial discrimination experiences and includes measurement, mediators and moderators of racial discrimination experiences. The second area explores the attitudes and feelings that African American youth ascribe to being Black, which is known as racial identity. The third area examines the complex relation between racial discrimination and racial identity among Black youth. A new area of inquiry assesses the interaction of racial discrimination, racial identity and pubertal development among Black children and adolescents. An extension of this area includes a focus on how racial discrimination “gets under the skin” with examination of the relation between racial discrimination experiences and physiological indicators such as cortisol, alpha amylase and C-reactive protein. Dr. Seaton uses quantitative and qualitative approaches embedded in a variety of methodological designs (e.g., daily diary, survey, qualitative) and analytical techniques (e.g., latent class, hierarchical linear modeling). Dr. Seaton’s ultimate goal is to understand how Black youth survive and thrive despite the pervasiveness of racism in the broader society.

For more information, see Dr. Seaton’s faculty website.

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.

Atiyya Shaw

Atiyya ShawFaculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

More about Atiyya Shaw

Attiya Shaw’s research is focused on data and methods that prioritize user-centered outcomes in transport engineering and urban planning. She is motivated by a desire to better understand transportation system users, and aim to achieve this through improved measurement of behavior and performance. Broadly, her research expertise and interests center around: user-centered data stream integration and utilization, transportation survey design and analysis, behavioral modeling, psychometrics, and human factors engineering. She is also passionate about educational outreach and mentorship.

Roseanna Sommers

Roseanna SommersDirector, Program for Research on Black Americans, Faculty Associate, RCGD, ISR;
Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan

More about Roseanna Sommers

Professor Roseanna Sommers’s teaching and research interests revolve around the many ways in which the law misunderstands people and people misunderstand the law.

Sommers’s research examines people’s intuitions about legal concepts such as consent, autonomy, and moral responsibility. Her work is part of a growing interdisciplinary field known as experimental jurisprudence, which borrows empirical techniques from the social sciences to clarify core concepts in the law.

Her work asks questions like: How do people determine whether someone is acting voluntarily? How do we think about interferences to autonomy, such as coercion, deception, incapacity, and manipulation? Are our legal doctrines defensible in light of empirical insights from the social and cognitive sciences? Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Psychological Science, as well as in law reviews such as the Yale Law Journal and the Stanford Law Review. She is currently co-leading a study funded by the National Science Foundation on the psychology of compliance.

Prior to joining the Michigan Law faculty, Prof. Sommers taught at the University of Chicago Law School as a Harry A. Bigelow Teaching Fellow. She is the founder and director of the Psychology and Law Studies (PALS) Lab, which conducts original research at the intersection of psychology and law. She also co-organizes the Chicago/Michigan PALS speaker series, a virtual workshop hosted in collaboration with the University of Chicago Law School.

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.

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.

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.