Graduate Students

M.S. Psychology (2018) Villanova University, B.A. Psychology (2014) University of Rochester
Advisor: Dr. Omri Gillath
Research Interests: My research focuses on close relationships and the underlying mechanisms of attraction, sexual behaviors, and short- vs. long-term commitment. In past work, I have investigated the psychological aspects of individuals’ sexual mating systems (e.g., interest in short- vs long-term mating strategies) and women’s sexual motivations and goals for hooking up. My Master’s Thesis explored the effect of sexual music lyrics’ influence on desired relationship length. I am currently collaborating on a research project to create and validate a measure for pornography consumption. 
Research Lab: Gillath Lab
Advisor: Dr. Omri Gillath
Research Interests: I am broadly interested in the close relationship and attachment theory. Specifically, I'm interested in the function of the attachment system and the underlying mechanism. I am currently studying whether priming attachment security could buffer stress and how it works using different physiological measures. I am further interested in the cultural difference in the close relationships. I am working on a project that explores the cultural difference in the experience of "envy your friend" between America and China.

Research Labs: Branscombe Lab & Molina Lab
Advisor: Dr. Nyla Branscombe
Research Interests: My research interests center around intergroup relations and stigmatized group identities.  Some specific questions of interest include: How do members of stigmatized groups cope with perceived disadvantage due to their devalued status?  How do asymmetric power relations complicate intergroup relation exchanges, and how can we promote more positive interactions across group boundaries?  I also explore opportunities for community-engaged scholarship by collaborating with the Center for Public Partnerships & Research at KU.  
Natasha Bharj
Research Lab: Culture and Psychology Research Group (CPRG), Muehlenhard Lab
Advisor: Dr. Glenn Adams
Research Interests: I am primarily interested in socio-cultural constructions of gendered and sexual violence, particularly within the context of colonialism and narratives of development. I also conduct research on representations of history and national identity, and am interested in the scholarship of teaching & learning. I am currently a fellow in the Diversity Scholars Fellowship Program at Ithaca College, NY.
B.S. Psychology (2019), Middle East Technical University
Advisor: Dr. Glenn Adams
Research Interests: I am broadly interested in cultural and political psychology. I study endorsement of prejudice and ideology based on attitudinal orientations and worldviews, as well as ethnic identity and its correlates. I also conduct research on well-being and identification of women with their cultural group based on honor, and barriers making individuals abstain from participating in feminist collective action. I am currently involved in a project which aims to investigate the relationship between performance on a national historical knowledge test, social identity, attitudinal orientations, and ideology. 
M.A. Psychology (2019), Cleveland State University, B.S. Psychological Science (2016), John Carroll University
Advisor: Dr. Mark Landau
Research Interests: I’m interested in non-traditional methods of defending from existential threats, such as, isolation, meaninglessness, and lack of belonging. Specifically, I study how people may turn to virtual social environments, like MMO’s, in order to re-establish social connectedness and restore feelings of meaning and belonging—even when their real-life experiences provide little existential protection. I’m looking into when, why, and how these virtual environments are beneficial to people, as well as, when they start to become detrimental. Additionally, I’m also interested in conceptual metaphor theory and time perception and use them to further study human perception and cognition. 


M.A. (2014) University of North Carolina at Wilmington, B.A. (2012) University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Research Lab: Biernat Lab
Advisor: Dr. Monica Biernat
Research Interests: I use an evolutionary perspective to study how close relationships are formed and maintained across time. I have explored two distinct lines of research: (a) how relational and sexual strategies are used to maintain relationships, and (b) how tempting contexts often compromise the fidelity of relationships. My current research focuses on understanding how competing biological and psychological forces influence one’s “in-the-moment” decision to remain faithful when opportunities for infidelity are high. 

B.A. Psychology (2018) Gettysburg College
Advisor: Dr. Chris Crandall
Research Interests: My research interests include the circumstances that might lead one to either justify or suppress genuine prejudice. I am further interested in how social norms influence the likelihood to express such prejudices, and how significant cultural and political events shift social norms. In this norms research, I utilize classic social-psychological theories (such as social comparison and attribution theory) to better understand the complexities of prejudice.​

B.S. Psychology (2018) Trinity College
Advisor: Dr. Ludwin Molina
Research Interests: In general, I am interested in how members of historically advantaged groups maintain and respond to threats to their higher status positions. Some of the questions that my current research seeks to address are: What are the psychological processes that account for why much of mainstream America tends to view Asian Americans through a different lens than other racial minority groups? What are the psychological and social consequences of Asian Americans being viewed relatively favorably for other minority groups (e.g., Black and Latino Americans)?


B.A. Psychology (2019), University of Kansas
Advisor: Dr. Glenn Adams
Research Interests:  I am interested in how socio-cultural factors, such as ethnicity, socio-economic status, and political ideology affect understandings of the legitimacy, threat, and nature of climate change, and how this is related to the colonial history of the United States, among other factors. I have also conducted research investigating how people understand who/what is responsible in school shootings scenarios, or more specifically, the causal attributions that people make about a school shooter's actions.
Advisor: Dr. Chris Crandall
Research Interests: My research interest broadly encompasses aspects of political and religious psychology.   More specifically I am interested in why people intuitively prefer the status quo and incumbents in political elections.  I am also interested how the use of people conceptually understand metaphors, and how certain metaphors impact peoples understanding of difficult concepts.   
M.A. Psychology (2019), University of Kansas, B.S. Psychology (2017), Iowa State University , B.S. Sociology (2017), Iowa State University
Research Lab: Branscombe Lab
Advisor: Dr. Nyla Branscombe 
Research Interests: Broadly, my research interests include gender, collective action, and intergroup solidarity. More specifically, I study the different ways that members of advantaged groups may become motivated to advocate for disadvantaged groups. I am also interested in how disadvantaged group members interpret allyship with advantaged groups, as well as the impact that allyship may have on members of disadvantaged groups
Ariel Jasmine Mosley
M.A. Psychology (2016) University of Kansas, B.A. Psychology, Philosophy Minor (2014) California State University Sacramento

Research Lab: Stereotyping and Judgement Lab with Dr. Monica Biernat
Advisor: Dr. Monica Biernat
Research interests: Ariel Mosley's research focuses on processes of intergroup relations, cultural diversity, and social inequality with a social cognitive focus. Broadly, her research examines issues of social power, identity threat, intersectionality, and group-based discrimination. 

M.A. Psychology (2019), University of Kansas, B.A. Psychology (2017), Kansas State University, B.A. Anthropology (2017), Kansas State University

Research Lab: Biernat Lab
Advisor: Dr. Monica Biernat 
Research Interests:  My research focuses on how social and cognitive factors influence perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, from the perspective of observers and targets. I am also interested in how stereotypes influence perceptions of one's self, as well as others
M.A. Psychology (2019), University of Kansas, B.A. Psychology (2015), Hampton University
Research Lab: Biernat Lab and Molina Lab  
Advisor: Dr. Monica Biernat
Research Interests: Broadly, my research focuses on stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination across several domains. I am particularly interested in how the intersection of multiple stigmatized identities (e.g. race, gender and sexual orientation) influence impression formation and person perception processes. I am also interested in the relationship between constructions of national identity and support for restrictive immigration policy.  
B.A. Psychology (2019), Albion College
Advisor: Dr. Ludwin Molina
Research Interest: Stewart's research interests broadly focus on intergroup relations and group identity (e.g., ethnicity, gender). He is currently interested in: (1) the factors that moderate the relationship between intergroup contact and prejudice, (2) how Asian Americans differ from other racial/ethnic minority groups in the context of national ​identity, and (3) how gender and sexism influence economic decision-making.
Trevor Swanson
B.S. (2014) Texas Christian University

Research Lab: The Lemma Lab
Advisor: Dr. Mark Landau
Research Interests: My research is currently focused on understanding human motivation through the lens of existential psychology, with a particular interest in how concerns about mortality influence self-regulation. Alongside this work, I am studying the role of conceptual metaphors within language, with an emphasis on how metaphors provide content and structure to our understanding of abstract concepts and thus influence how we perceive the world. Additionally, I am interested in how different strategies of evaluative organization within the self-concept can serve as temporary adaptive solutions to situations of high stress and limited mental resources.

B.A. Psychology (2016) Oberlin College
Advisor: Dr. Nyla Branscombe
Research Interests: My research interests include intergroup relations and social identity, especially topics related to inequality, power, and oppression. I am curious about the ways in which identifying with a given group membership can impact an individual's attitudes and behavior. I am additionally interested in studying intergroup relations in the real-world contexts of the criminal justice system, intergroup conflict, and collective action.
M.A. Psychology (2019), University of Kansas, B.S. Psychology (2017), Uhiversity of Wisconsin Madison
Research Lab: Lemma Lab
Advisor: Dr. Mark Landau
Research Interests:  I study how and why people take interest in a goal and persist in the face of difficulty.   I'm especially interested in how identity and culture play a role in developing personal relevance for a topic.   These ideas can lead to intervention methods to help, for example, first-generations college students get interested in STEM careers; motivating a sub-population of people to get health screenings; helping individuals (with low perceive competence in STEM) be successful in the STEM-related goals by motivating them to take advantage of resources available to help them.   Additionally, I use conceptual metaphor theory, expectancy-value model, and identity based motivation as conceptual lenses and tools for my work.   

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