Amélie Mummendey

Amélie MummendeyAmélie Mummendey is a German social psychologist. Since 2007, she has fulfiled the office of Vice-Rector for the Graduate Academy at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Her research addresses the social psychology of social identity and relations between social groups, in particular she investigates determinants of negative intergroup attitudes and behaviours as well as determinants of tolerance, acceptance, and appreciation of outgroups. While employing both experimental and field research, Mummendey and colleagues investigated social psychological issues of high social relevance such as the “positive-negative-asymmetry” in social discrimination and strategies to cope with threatened or negative social identities.

Mummendey completed her MSc Psychology at the University of Bonn, followed by her PhD at the University of Mainz in 1970, and her habilitation at the University of Münster in 1974. She held a chair in social psychology at the University of Münster (1980–1997) before taking up a chair in social psychology at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in 1997. In 2007, Amélie Mummendey was elected as the first Vice-Rector for the Graduate Academy at the University of Jena

She is particularly interested in determinants of both discrimination and tolerance between social groups, conflict and cooperation, constructive versus destructive coping with social change, threats to social identities and limitations of tolerance and affiliation of outgroup members. Mummendey and colleagues empirical findings as well as a number of new theoretical models developed by them have been published in numerous books and journals.

Published: 03 November 2014

Last update: 04 April 2015


Eric Schrimshaw

Eric SchrimshawEric Schrimshaw, is a social/health psychologist whose research focuses on the role of interpersonal relationships on health and well-being. His work and interests are focused on three aspects of social relationships. First, much of Schrimshaw’s early work (including his dissertation) was focused on the beneficial role of supportive relationships and the negative impact of stigma, conflict, and rejection on mental and behavioural health outcomes. Second, Schrimshaw’s work has addressed the health implications of concealing stigmatised identities. Specifically this work has focused on how self-disclosure or the communication of personal information with others has beneficial role in health and well-being, how concealment can have negative implications for health, and how non-disclosure can impede access to care and support. Finally, most recently, Schrimshaw’s work has focused on how different social environments where sexual relationships are formed may impede communication and facilitate sexual risk. Of particular interest are the use of the Internet and smartphone technologies for meeting sexual partners, the influence of these technologies on communication, and whether these technologies could contribute to sexual risk. Employing a mixed-methods approach that involves both qualitative interviewing and quantitative survey methods, his work documents the importance of interpersonal relationships for understanding mental health, substance use, and sexual risk behaviour. He has addressed these issues within several populations including adults living with HIV/AIDS, gay/lesbian/bisexual adolescents, gay/bisexual men, and bisexual men “on the down low.” Schrimshaw has published over 50 journal articles addressing the role of interpersonal relationships and health.   You can view his CV here. You can also follow him on Twitter @EricSchrimshaw

His recent publications include:

  • Schrimshaw, E. W., Siegel, K., Downing, M. J., Jr., & Parsons, J. T. Disclosure and concealment of sexual orientation and the mental health of non-gay-identified, behaviorally-bisexual men. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81, 141-153, 2013
  • Schrimshaw, EW., Siegel, K., Downing, Jr., MJ. Sexual risk behaviors with female and male partners met in different sexual venues among non-gay-identified, nondisclosing MSMW International Journal of Sexual Health 22 167-179 2010
  • Rosario, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., & Hunter, J. Disclosure of sexual orientation and subsequent substance use and abuse among lesbian, gay, and bisexual youths: Critical role of disclosure reactions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 23 175-184 2009

Credits to Columbia University

Published: 02 April 2014

Last update:23 April 2015


Joshua Aronson

Joshua AronsonJoshua Aronson is an Associate Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University. Most of his works seek to understand and remediate race and gender gaps in educational achievement and standardised test performance. Often, the low performance of blacks in particular, but other minorities as well, gets casually chalked up to genetic or cultural differences that supposedly block acquisition of skills or values necessary for academic achievement.

In sharp contrast, Aronson, along with his students and colleagues, have uncovered some exciting and encouraging answers to these old questions by looking at the psychology of stigma – the way human beings respond to negative stereotypes about their racial or gender group. What they have found suggests that being targetted by well-known cultural stereotypes (“blacks are unintelligent”, “girls can’t do math”, and so on) can be very threatening, a predicament  Aronson and his mentor called “stereotype threat”.

Stereotype threat engenders a number of interesting psychological and physiological responses, many of which interfere with intellectual performance and academic motivation. Aronson has conducted numerous studies showing how stereotype threat depresses the standardised test performance of black, Latino, and female college students. These same studies showed how changing the testing situation (even subtly) to reduce stereotype threat, can dramatically improve standardised test scores. This work offers a far more optimistic view of race and gender gaps than the older theories that focused on poverty, culture, or genetic factors. They have found that we can do a lot to boost both achievement and the enjoyment of school by understanding and attending to these psychological processes, thereby unseating the power of stereotypes and prejudice to foil the academic aspirations of the young people who, just by virtue of being born black, brown, or female, are subjected to suspicions of inferiority.

A particular focus of his recent work is on creating scalable interventions that any teacher can use to improve the performance and learning of their students.

Aronson completed his PhD in Social Psychology and MA in Social Psychology at Princeton University. He earned his BA in Psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz.

His recent publications include:

  • Aronson, J. & Aronson, E. (2011). Readings About the Social Animal, 11th edition. New York, Worth/Freeman (link)
  • Aronson, J. (2002). Improving academic achievement: Impact of Psychological Factors on Education. San Diego: Academic Press. (link)
  • Aronson, J. & Steele, C.M. (2005). Stereotypes and the fragility of human competence, motivation, and self-concept. In C. Dweck & E. Elliot (Eds.), Handbook of Competence & Motivation. New York, Guilford.

Credits to New York University

Published: 20 March 2014

Last update: 22 April 2015


J. Philippe Rushton

J. Philip RushtonJ. Philippe Rushton was born in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, in 1943. His father was a building contractor; his mother was French and gave him his middle name. They then emigrated to South Africa and later to Canada so he went to school in several places. Rushton returned to England and earned a BSc in psychology from Birkbeck, University of London in 1970 and in 1973 received his PhD from the London School of Economics for work on altruism in children. He then moved to the University of Oxford for a one-year post-doc to continue his research on personality development in children. After that he returned to Canada where he taught at York University from 1974-1976 and the University of Toronto until 1977. He then moved to the University of Western Ontario where he was made a full professor in 1985. Rushton then received a DSc from the University of London in 1992.

Rushton’s research interest was altruism. Why people help others poses a challenge for theories of human development and evolution. His early work focused on the social learning of generosity in 7- to 11-year-old children. After writing a book, Altruism, Socialization, and Society, 1980, examining the influence of the family, the educational system, and the mass media, he broadened his approach to include sociobiology and behavioral genetics. Rushton then carried out twin studies using the University of London Twin Register in the U.K. and found that individual differences in empathy and nurturance are about 50% heritable. So are individual differences in aggression and crime. Some of these differences are mediated by testosterone.

More controversial was his work on race differences. In new studies and reviews of the world literature, he consistently found that East Asians and their descendants average a larger brain size, greater intelligence, more sexual restraint, slower rates of maturation, and greater law abidingness and social organisation than do Europeans and their descendants who average higher scores on these dimensions than do Africans and their descendants. To explain this pattern he proposed a gene-based evolutionary theory. His book, Race, Evolution, and Behavior reviews the theory and many of the data sets.

See also his book’s homepage: Charles Darwin

Credits to University of Western Ontario

Published: 19 March 2014

Last update: 14 August 2015


Gerulf Rieger

Gerulf RiegerGerulf Rieger obtained a MSc in Biological Anthropology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and a PhD in Personality Psychology from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. Gerulf had a teaching position at Northwestern University and was a research fellow in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University before joining the Social and Health Psychology Group at the University of Essex.

Rieger’s recent work has focused on sexual orientation: how it is organised, how it develops, and how it affects a person’s life. He uses a wide diversity of methodologies, ranging from self-report to assessing physiological activity and neurological correlates, and employ an array of quantitative skills in order to pursue his research. Rieger uses home videos to examine behavioural signals of childhood masculinity-femininity and how they predict adult sexual orientation. He also investigates the social impact of these signals. He has used large data sets of family members to investigate potential evolutionary mechanisms of sexual orientation. In another line of research, Rieger studies the association of sexual orientation with physiological sexual arousal in order to illuminate sex differences in sexual attraction. With a different methodology, pupil dilation, he is currently conducting research that will aid in explaining how early sex and sexual orientation differences in sexual attraction patterns emerge. These studies have broad relevance for understanding how people perceive themselves and others, as well as consequences of these perceptions, and for the development of differences between and within the sexes.

His previous research interests focused on interactions between humans and their companion animals, and how these interactions compare to communications between humans. Rieger investigated to what degree companion animals affected the temporary moods of their owners, and whether these interactions included mechanisms that are not found in the communication styles between humans.

His recent publications include:

  • Rieger, G., Rosenthal, A. M., Cash, B. M., Linsenmeier, J. A., Bailey, J. M., & Savin-Williams, R. C. (2013). Male Bisexual Arousal: A Matter of Curiosity? Biological Psychology, 94(3), 479-89. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.09.007
  • Vrangalova, Z., Bukberg, R. E., & Rieger, G. (2013). Birds of a feather? Not when it comes to sexual permissiveness. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407513487638
  • Savin-Williams, R., Rieger, G., & Rosenthal, A. M. (2013). Physiological Evidence for a Mostly Heterosexual Orientation Among Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 1-3. doi: 10.1007/s10508-013-0093-1

Credits to University of Essex

Published: 19 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015


Eleni Andreouli

Eleni AndreouliMoving from Greece to Britain, Eleni Andreouli, became interested in the social psychological aspects of immigration processes, particularly in the dynamics of identity in border-crossing practices and intercultural encounters. She has studied national, ethnic and cultural identities in her doctoral and postdoctoral research. Before joining the Open University in September 2013,  Andreouli worked for several years at the London School of Economics where she also completed her PhD.

She holds BSc in Psychology from Panteion University, Greece; MSc in Social Psychology and PhD in Psychology both from London School of Economics.

Her primary research interests lie in the social psychology of citizenship, immigration and identity in diverse societies. She is interested in the relationship between institutional arrangements about immigration and everyday ‘lay’ understandings and experiences of these issues. Andreouli’s research includes work on British citizenship and immigration focusing particularly on the process of naturalisation whereby migrants acquire formal citizenship status. She has also researched intercultural relations in school settings, studying how we can develop effective multicultural educational policies in the context of Britain and other culturally diverse societies. Her current research plans are to study European citizenship ‘from below’. In particular,  she interested in studying how ordinary citizens themselves make sense of and enact their European citizenship.

Andreouli is a member of the Enactments programme of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG) at the Open University. She is also an Assistant Editor for the online peer-reviewed journal Papers on Social Representations.

Credits to The Open University

Published: 16 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015


Helen Lee Lin

Helen Lee LinUnder the supervision of Dr C. Raymond Knee, Helen Lee Lin received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Houston in 2010 after completing a dissertation titled “Toward More Authentic Self-Reports:  An Experimental Manipulation Based on Self-Determination Theory.”  The dissertation examined past methods of reducing response bias and tested a potential alternative using the basic tenets of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 2000).  She is currently conducting a follow-up of this research.

In 2007, Helen received her MA in Social Psychology from the University of Houston, with a thesis on realistic and unrealistic control beliefs in relationships, titled ‘Assessing Unrealistic Control Beliefs in Relationships’.  As part of the requirements for a doctorate, she also completed a minor in Marketing through the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

In 2004, Helen graduated magna cum laude (with high honours) from the University of Houston after earning a BS in Psychology and a BA in Communications – Media Production.  By fulfilling all of the Honours College’s requirements during her time at UH and by completing a senior honours thesis on long-distance relationships (LDRs), she earned the additional distinctions of University Honours and Honours in Psychology, the full extent of honours available to undergraduate students.  Her honours thesis, which received a ‘Pass with Distinction’, is titled, ‘So Far and Yet So Close:  Predictors of Closeness in Local and Long-Distance Relationships’.  Highlights of the manuscript were published as a journal article in Psi Chi’s Journal of Undergraduate Research in 2006.

Helen’s research interests are varied.  In the past, they have dealt mostly with problems or potential pitfalls in human relationships.

For example:

  • Long-distance (‘geographically distant’) relationships
  • Unrealistic control beliefs in relationships
  • Secrecy, or self-concealment, in relationships
  • Defensive pessimism in single people

More recently, Helen has become interested in applied topics, such as:

  • Media effects
  • Internet, privacy, and social media
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Health attitudes, behaviour, and outcomes
  • Marketing strategy and consumer behaviour
  • Educational assessment, literacy
  • Prosocial environmental (‘green’) attitudes and behaviour

You can read her blog here (Science of Relationships) and you may also follow her on Twitter @helenleelin

Credits to Helen Lee Lin

Published: 11 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015


Marcial Losada

Marcial LosadaMarcial Losada is the founder and executive director of Losada Line Consulting, an organisation that specialises in developing high performance teams. He currently consults with executives and their teams at several corporations in the US and around the world.

Formerly, as director of the Centre for Advanced Research (CFAR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he conducted studies on the interaction dynamics and productivity of business teams that led him to implement a unique, scientifically based, approach to develop high performance teams. His pioneering work on applications of nonlinear dynamics to team interaction processes has been published in a number of prestigious scientific journals, and he has made several other contributions that have earned him worldwide recognition:

• He has given seminars and worked extensively to develop high performance teams with several corporations in Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile.

• He has given numerous seminars and workshops on team dynamics and performance at several major corporations in the US including Apple, AT & T, Boeing, DTE Energy, EDS, GM, Merck, Kellogg Foundation, and Mellon Foundation.

• Losada was invited to present his work at University of Cambridge, Harvard Business School, Graduate Business School at University of Michigan, Sloan School of Management at MIT, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Stanford Research Institute, and Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, California.

• He presented his findings on applications of nonlinear dynamics to team interaction and productivity at the prestigious Director’s Colloquium in Los Alamos National Laboratory.

• He has briefed Vice-President Al Gore and the president of MIT, Dr Charles Vest, on the interaction dynamics of high performance teams.

• He is currently developing high performance teams at BCI, BHP-Billiton, and CODELCO.

Credits to Social Psychology Network

Published: 09 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015


Ana Leite

Ana LeiteAna Leite is a social psychologist and a lecturer from University of Kent. She earned her PhD in Psychology in December 2013 at the University of Porto, Portugal.

Leite’s research is principally in the area of reaction to deviance in intergroup contexts. Specifically, her works focus on the conditions that facilitate the tolerance of deviant or disloyal ingroup members and individuals’ willingness to adhere to deviant behaviour. She is further interested in group processes, reaction to deviance, organisational behaviour, and human resource  management. She also love sports and photography.

Her recent projects include:

  • June 2013 – June 2015
    Team Member of the research project EXCL/MHC-PSO/0800/2012, funded by FCT (Portuguese Foundation for Sciences and Technology)
    Title of the Project: “A subjective group dynamics approach to the relationship between national identity, social control, cohesiveness and national shame versus pride.”

Her key publications include:

  • Leite, A. C., Pinto, I. R., & Marques, J. M. (submitted). Taking advantage of deviants’ contribution to the achievement of ingroup goals: A subjective group dynamics approach to the acceptance of deviant ingroup members.
  • Leite, A. C., Pinto, I. R., & Marques, J. M. (in preparation). Group reactions to deviance: From the exclusion to the acceptance of deviant ingroup members.

Her awards include:

  • European Association of Social Psychology Travel Grant to attend and present my research at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, USA, in February 2014 (€800).

Follow her on Twitter @anacastroleite

Credits to University of Kent

Published: 09 March 2014

Last update: 23 April 2015


Travis Langley

Travis Langley, Ph.D.Superherologist Travis Langley, author of the book Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, is a psychology professor who teaches on crime, mental illness, social behaviour, and media (including comic books), not to mention a course titled “Batman,” at Henderson State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Hendrix College and his MS and PhD in psychology from Tulane University. Travis has also been a child abuse investigator, courtroom expert, and undefeated champion on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show even though none of the puzzles they gave him were about psychology or superheroes.

Thousands follow Dr Langley as @Superherologist on Twitter. An organiser of the Comics Arts Conference, he regularly speaks as a panelist discussing the psychology of superheroes at conventions like San Diego Comic-Con International, WonderCon, Wizard World, and New York Comic Con, joined by great people like Bat-Films executive producer Michael Uslan, legendary comic book writer Dennis O’Neil, “Batman” actor Adam West, and West’s motion picture Catwoman Lee Meriwether. As part of their ongoing ERIICA Project (Empirical Research on the Interpretation and Influence of the Comic Arts), Travis and his students investigate how fans see themselves and their heroes.