Social Faculty

Group Photo of all Social Area Faculty and Graduate Students Group Photo of all Social Area Faculty and Graduate Students

The social psychology program is composed of five core faculty members who directly supervise the doctoral students in our program and who offer seminars in social psychology (e.g., close relationships, social cognition, stigma, and intergroup relations). The program aims to provide students with expertise in the social psychology of health and well-being. Under this unifying mission, faculty and graduate students explore topics ranging from psychological and biological benefits of close relationships, social support, and acceptance, to the detrimental effects of exclusion, stigma, discrimination, and other social stressors. 

Heather Claypool

Dr. Claypool's research focuses on social belonging and how its fulfillment and deprivation shape emotion, cognition, and behavior. She also explores how experiences of cognitive ease (or fluency) impact social behavior and perception. Learn more about Dr. Claypool.

Allison Farrell

Dr. Farrell's research examines the interplay between stress, close relationships, and health across the lifespan. In particular, her work identifies the psychological and biological mechanisms explaining how parent-child and romantic relationships affect physical health. She also studies how high quality relationships promote better outcomes for individuals at risk for poor health outcomes (e.g., individuals with low socioeconomic status, people of color). Learn more about Dr. Farrell's MARSH Lab for current research, publications, and news.

Jeffrey Hunger

Dr. Hunger’s research uses insights from social psychology to understand and improve the health of stigmatized groups (e.g., higher body weight individuals, racial and sexual minorities). His current interests include the psychobiological consequences of social identity threat and extending traditional models of stigma and health to understand how individuals contend with multiple stigmatized identities. Learn more about Dr. Hunger.

Jonathan Kunstman

Dr. Kunstman's research focuses on intergroup relations and their implications for academic outcomes, health, and well-being. Dr. Kunstman's recent work finds that concerns with White instructors' motives can undermine academic outcomes for students of color. Dr. Kunstman's team also explores how race-baed biases in social pain and psychological distress hamper social support and mental healthcare for members of groups stereotyped as 'tough'.   Learn more about Dr. Kunstman.

Allen McConnell

Dr. McConnell's research focuses on how relationships with entities such as family and pets affect health and well-being, how people decode others’ nonverbal displays, how nonconscious and conscious feelings and beliefs affect judgment and behavior, and how self-knowledge influences emotions, goals, and actions. Read more details about Dr. McConnell's lab, research, and publications.