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Featured Alumni

Many Ph.D. programs are shaped by their graduate students, and the social psychology program at Ohio State is no exception. The current excellence of Ohio State’s social psychology program is, in part, driven by the success of its previous graduate students. Ohio State’s social psychology program has produced exemplary scholars that currently hold academic positions all over the world. Ohio State’s global reach helps to foster a strong network of social psychologists who continue to collaborate on cutting-edge research and reconnect at academic conferences throughout the year. There have been innumerable outstanding alumni from our program. Below is a brief list of various OSU alumni along with a summary of their research.

Mahzarin Banaji (Ph.D. - 1986)


Mahzarin Banaji is the Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Banaji is also the first Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Chair in Human Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute. Banaji taught at Yale from 1986-2002 where she was Ruben Post Halleck Professor of Psychology. Banaji was elected fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychologists, Society for Experimental Social Psychology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, named Herbert A. Simon Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and named William James Fellow for a lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology by the Association of Psychology Science, an organization of which she also served as President. She also received the Carol and Ed Diener Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology. Banaji studies thinking and feeling as they unfold in social contexts, with a focus on mental systems that operate in an implicit or unconscious mode. She studies social attitudes and beliefs in adults and children, especially those that have roots in group membership. She explores the implications of her work for questions of individual responsibility and social justice in democratic societies. Her current research interests focus on the origins of social cognition and applications of implicit cognition to improve individual decisions and organizational policies.

Jamie Barden (Ph.D. - 2005)


Jamie Barden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Howard University. The central theme of his research is to find evidence of the mechanism underlying evaluative judgments, including both meta-cognitive and automatic processes. A second theme is to explore the consequences of placing the self and others into social categories (race, gender, sexual orientation). The bulk of his research reflects the intersection of these two themes. Current projects in the lab include investigating meta-cognitive processes underlying certainty judgments (including the role of accessibility and certainty in standardized test performance), stereotype traits that are unique to the ingroup, and racial identity tailoring in advertising. Barden has been on the HU faculty since receiving his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Ohio State in 2005. Barden’s work is published in JPSP, JESP, PSPB and SPPCompass, he has served as Associate Editor at BASP, and his research has been supported by APF and NSF. He is Co-Director of the Howard-NAEP Statistics and Evaluation Institute, which is fully supported by Educational Testing Service (ETS).

John T. Cacioppo (Ph.D. - 1977)


John Cacioppo was the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Cacioppo received his doctor of philosophy degree from Ohio State University in 1977 and joined the University of Notre Dame’s department of psychology as an assistant professor that year. He moved to the University of Iowa in 1979 and was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and to professor in 1985. Cacioppo’s collaboration with Rich Petty also expanded during this period: They co-authored books and articles on, among other things, the elaboration likelihood model of attitudes and persuasion and individual differences in cognitive motivation (“need for cognition”) with an emphasis on the role of need for cognition in attitude formation and changes. Cacioppo was one of the founders of the field of social neuroscience and the author of more than 500 scientific articles, chapters, reviews, and commentaries, and he authored or edited more than 20 books. Cacioppo passed away in early 2018.


Patricia Devine (Ph.D. - 1986)

Patricia Devine is the Kenneth and Mamie Clark Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Devine has conducted research on how people manage the intrapersonal and interpersonal challenges associated with prejudice in our contemporary society. One main focus for her recent work centers on the sources of motivation, internal and external, for responding without prejudice and the unique challenges these alternate sources of motivation create for managing the interpersonal aspects of intergroup relations. Key questions concern the relation between explicit and implicit prejudice and the processes that regulate the use of stereotypes. In addition, she has conducted research on the qualitative nature of the tension between majority and minority group members that may create obstacles for harmonious intergroup relations, and which may, in some instances lead to an escalation of prejudice coupled with a tendency to lash out at stigmatized groups. Devine also has programs of research on dissonance-related phenomena and the processes involved in resisting persuasion.

Lee Fabrigar (Ph.D. - 1995)


Lee Fabrigar is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University. His primary research interests fall within the domain of attitude and persuasion research. Within this domain, his research has investigated the effects of attitude structure and social context in regulating the susceptibility of attitudes to persuasion and the impact of attitudes on behavior, judgment, and information processing. His research has also explored methods of measuring attitudes and their underlying structural properties. Other research interests include the psychological mechanisms underlying social influence tactics, the relationship between personality traits and the self, the role of attachment style in relationship processes, and methodological issues in the application of statistical methods (e.g., factor analysis and structural equation modeling) to psychological research.

Camille Johnson (Ph.D. - 2005)


Camille Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at San Jose State University. Johnson received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Ohio State University in 2005 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Her primary research focuses broadly on the relationship between social comparisons, motivations and performance. In addition to these interests, she has a number of active collaborations and affiliations with researchers involved in a wide variety of research topics like exploring issues surrounding responses to uncertainty and self-doubt, and interracial interactions. Johnson was named an Ascendant Scholar by the Western Academy of Management in 2010, and received the Early Career Investigator Award from the San Jose State University Research Foundation in 2014.  She serves as the faculty chair of the WASC Accreditation Steering Committee.


India Johnson (Ph.D. - 2012)

India Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Elon University. Johnson’s research interests revolve around issues relating to prejudice, attitude change, and social identity. For instance, in one line of research she has adapted principles of attitude change to develop a new strategy to reduce automatic prejudice. She also has several projects examining the downstream consequences of having conflicting implicit and explicit attitudes on motivated information search and processing. In her most recent work, Johnson has developed interventions geared towards promoting and encouraging the recruitment of women and women of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Across a number of studies, she has examined how various strategies - role models, allyship, awareness of gender bias, subtle features of the environment - can potentially increase belonging among those who identify with negatively stereotyped groups.

Walter Mischel (Ph.D. - 1956)

Walter Mische

Walter Mischel was the Robert Johnston Niven Professor of Humane Letters in the Department of Psychology at Columbia University. He was best known for his groundbreaking study on delayed gratification known as “the marshmallow test.” In the late 1960s Mischel began a study on delayed gratification—the ability to abstain from instant but less-desirable outcomes in favour of deferred but more desirable outcomes. Follow-up studies, conducted later in life via self-report, further showed that high delayers achieved greater academic success (e.g., higher standardized test scores), better health (e.g., resistance to substance abuse), and more-positive relationships (e.g., lower rates of marital separation and divorce). This breakthrough research demonstrated not only that willpower can be learned but also that it seems to be “a protective buffer against the development of all kinds of vulnerabilities later in life,” as Mischel concluded, thereby implying that self-control is key to both academic and personal success. In 1983, Mischel became a professor at Columbia University. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991) and the National Academy of Sciences (2004). Mischel served as editor of the Psychological Review (2000–03) and president of the Association for Psychological Science (2007–08). In 2011, he won the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his work on delayed gratification, self-control, and willpower. Mischel Passed away in 2018.

Eva Pietri (Ph.D. - 2013)

Eva Pietri

Eva Pietri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at IUPUI (Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis). Broadly, Pietri investigates how basic processes in social cognition and attitudes influence a variety of domains that are pertinent to real world issues. Her research uses theories and research from social psychology to guide the development of interventions. Much of her current research focuses on reducing biases and promoting diversity in science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. For example, Pietri has developed Video Interventions for Diversity in STEM (VIDS). VIDS are short high-quality videos that consist of two presentational styles that each demonstrate empirical evidence of gender bias. Her research has found that VIDS can increase individuals’ ability to notice subtle gender bias and promote speaking out against this unfair behavior.

Cynthia Pickett (Ph.D. - 1999)         

Cynthia Pickett

Cynthia Pickett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California – Davis. In addition to her academic appointment in Psychology, Cynthia Pickett is director of UC Davis’ Self and Social Identity Lab, which conducts research within the areas of social identity, intergroup relations, the self, social cognition and self-regulatory processes. Pickett is a member of several professional societies, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the Association for Psychological Science, the International Social Cognition Network, the International Society for Self and Identity, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Previously, she served as associate editor and on the editorial board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Pickett currently serves on the editorial boards of Social and Personality Psychology Compass, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Derek Rucker (Ph.D. - 2005)   


Derek Rucker is the Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Rucker joined the Kellogg marketing department in the Fall of 2005. His primary research focuses broadly on the topics of power, compensatory consumption, persuasion, and consumer behavior. His work asks, and seeks answers to, what makes for effective advertising and what motives underlie consumer consumption. To answer these questions, Rucker draws on his rich training in social psychology. His work has appeared in numerous leading journals in psychology and marketing such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. In addition, his research has been covered in major media outlets such as The New York Times, Time Magazine, and ABC News. In recognition of his commitment to excellence in teaching, Rucker was nominated as a finalist for the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award and a recipient of the Top Elective Professor Award. In addition to his work in the classroom, Rucker is a co-instructor of the annual Kellogg Advertising Superbowl Review. The review is in the spirit of Kellogg's focus on experiential learning and cultivates basic principles learned in the classroom to critically evaluate advertising in a real world and high stakes environment.

Michelle See (Ph.D. - 2007)


Michelle See is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the National University of Singapore. See received her bachelor's degree (2001; summa cum laude) in psychology from University of Arizona, and her M.A. (2003) and Ph.D. (2007) in social psychology from Ohio State University. Much of See’s work focuses on attitudes, for example, how subjective perceptions versus structural properties of attitudinal bases influence matching effects in persuasion. She also conducts research on intergroup attitudes under conditions of threat.

Denise Sekaquaptewa (Ph.D. - 1997)


Denise Sekaquaptewa is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Sekaquaptewa’s research focuses on implicit stereotyping, prejudice, stereotype threat, and effects of category salience on test performance and academic motivation. Her current research is focused on stereotyping, prejudice, stereotype threat, and effects of category salience on test performance. One 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. A second line of research addresses the relationship between stereotype use and discrimination. Sekaquaptewa’s 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 third line of research bridges the first two by examining the interaction of implicit stereotyping and susceptibility to the negative influence of stereotype threat.


Sharon Shavitt (Ph.D. - 1985)

Sharon Shavitt is the Walter H. Stellner Professor of Marketing at the College of Business, Professor in the Department of Psychology, and Research Professor at the Survey Research Laboratory and in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Shavitt has published extensively on topics related to culture, consumer information-processing, and persuasion. She was co-chair of the ACR2008 North American conference, and was formerly the associate editor of Journal of Consumer Psychology. Her current research focuses on the cross-cultural factors affecting consumer persuasion, self-presentation, and survey responding. She also conducts research on the impact of motivational and contextual factors on evaluative processes. Shavitt teaches courses on marketing communications, consumer behavior, and survey methodology and has appeared numerous times on the University’s List of Excellent Teachers. She is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, and other journals. Shavitt is a former vice president of the policy board of the Journal of Consumer Research, a former treasurer of the Association for Consumer Research, member of the executive board of the Society of Consumer Psychology, and a former chair of the Society’s Scientific Affairs Committee.


Natalie Shook (Ph.D. - 2007)

Natalie Shook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University. Shook accepted a faculty position at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007 and remained in that position until 2011, when she joined the WVU faculty as an assistant professor. The goal of Shook’s research is to understand the cognitive and affective processes underlying attitude formation and change, as well as how attitudes guide behavior. To do this, a broad range of topics are studied, including racial prejudice, political ideology, homophobia, and emotional disorders. Shook incorporates a variety of techniques into her research from self-report measures to implicit measures (e.g., evaluative priming tasks) to physiological measures (e.g., heart rate variability) and studies diverse populations (e.g., college students, older adults, clinical samples).

Claude Steele (Ph.D. - 1971)

Claude Steele

Claude Steele is the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences (Emeritus) as well as the I. James Quillen Endowed Dean (Emeritus) at the Stanford Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self (e.g., self-image, self-affirmation) as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors. In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Board, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society. Steele currently serves as a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and as a Fellow for both the American Institutes for Research and the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Zakary Tormala (Ph.D. - 2003)


Zakary Tormala is a Professor of Marketing in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Tormala received a B.A. in psychology from Arizona State University in the fall of 1996 and went on to earn his Ph.D. in social psychology from Ohio State University in 2003. From 2003-2007, he served as an assistant professor of social psychology at Indiana University. In 2007 he joined the marketing faculty at Stanford, where he teaches courses on attitudes, persuasion, and consumer behavior. Tormala has published numerous articles in leading psychology and marketing journals, including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Journal of Consumer Psychology, among others. For his contribution to scholarly research in consumer behavior, he received the Society for Consumer Psychology’s Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution in 2008 and was named to the Marketing Science Institute’s list of Young Scholars in 2009.

Kip Williams (Ph.D. - 1981)


Kip Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. His research interests lie broadly in group processes and social influence. His specific research topics include ostracism, social loafing and social compensation, stealing thunder, Internet research, and psychology and law. He is working primarily on ostracism-being ignored and excluded-and how it affects individuals and groups. His lab’s studies indicate that the initial reaction to ostracism is pain, which is similarly felt by all individuals regardless of personality or social/situational factors. Ostracism then instigates actions aimed at recovering thwarted needs of belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence. Williams has authored several books on the topic of ostracism.