About Me

I'm an assistant professor in the Social and Personality area of the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I also hold a courtesy appointment in the Political Science Department. I am on sabbatical at New York University's Stern School of Business during the 2018-2019 Academic Year, where I am building and testing interventions to improve intergroup dialogue in hopes of crafting solutions to the many problems facing society today.

I study why people have such a hard time talking about morality, politics, and religion (and sometimes even science itself) without yelling at each other. I am currently studying how people segregate into homogeneous enclaves and how this affects social behaviors ranging from community engagement and voting to intragroup cooperation and intergroup hostility. I am a political psychologist (or, a psychological political scientist) and I blog about it at PsychoPolitics.

When possible, I apply research in the "real world" and conduct field studies to assess whether the research seems to generalize beyond artificial confines of lab- or internet-based studies. To do this, my colleagues (namely Jon Haidt and Ravi Iyer) and I created CivilPolitics.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on evidence-based methods for improving intergroup dialogue. At present, I am the Executive Director and am overseeing field studies in 43 states looking at what can be done to promote better dialogue and bridge divides between groups in conflict.

Currently, I am working on developing OpenMind, which is a free web-based program that teaches people about cognitive biases, promotes intellectual humility, and seems to be reducing affective polarization among the students who have completed the program from 130 colleges/universities in Spring 2018. Beginning in Fall 2018, data from three rigorous randomized control trials will begin rolling in.

While my substantive research is primarily in the realm of understanding context and conflict, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to do better science. To this end, I am a long-time user of the Open Science Framework and am always working to promote more replicable science. All of the data, research materials, and analysis scripts, should be available on my OSF page, GitHub, and/or my website. If there are any materials that do not seem to be in those places, please email me and I am happy to share all that I have.

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