Alix Alto

Headshot Photo of Student Alix Alto

Advisors: Ana Gantman, Daryl Wout

Research interests: My interest span political ideology, identity, imagination, and social cognition. Specifically, I'm interested in the relationships between group-based and ideological motivations and collective movements, with particular emphasis on left-wing politics, radical imagination, and the psychology of (anti-) capitalism.

Recent publications and presentations:

Wylie, J., Alto, A.T., Gantman, A. (in press). Imagining our moral values in the present and future. [Peer commentary on "Why Imaginary Worlds? The psychological foundations and cultural evolution of fictions with imaginary worlds" by Dubourg, E., & Baumard, N.]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Alto, A.T.*, Wylie, J.*, Anderson, K.*, Flores-Robles, G.*, Satter, L., & Gantman, A. (under review). “I put liberal, but LOL”: Psychology of the American Political Left.

Alto, A.T.., & Mandalaywala, T.M. (under review). Boys and girls, men and women: Do children take stimulus age into account when expressing gender stereotypes?

Alto, A.T., & Gantman, A. (2022, July). How do Leftists and Liberals think about liberty? Investigating concepts of positive and negative liberty on the United States left. [Paper]. International Society of Political Psychology 2022 Annual Meeting, Athens, Greece.

Alto, A.T.*, Wylie, J.*, Anderson, K.*, Flores-Robles, G.*, Satter, L., & Gantman, A. (2022, July). Anti-capitalism distinguishes Leftists from Liberals in the United States. [Paper]. International Society of Political Psychology 2022 Annual Meeting, Athens, Greece.

Alto, A.T. (Chair), Utopian Thinking, Radical Imagination, and Social Change. [Symposium]. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention 2022, San Francisco, CA.



Kyle Anderson

Headshot Photo of Student Kyle Anderson

Advisors: Curtis Hardin, Demis Glasford

Research interests: My research focuses on issues related to politics, reducing political polarization, as well as issues surrounding intersectionality and negative life experiences that either facilitate or hinder social change. 

Recent publications and presentations:

Anderson, K., Rivera, R."The Disintegration of South Sudan: Political Violence from 2011 to 2016." Sudan Studies Association Bulletin (Spring Issue) 35, no. 1 (2018): 15-27.

Thomas, J., Anderson, K., & Alexander, D. (2016). Violent events in South Sudan. Data presented at the Public Forum on Governance and Economy of South Sudan, Phoenix, AZ. Presentation.

Stalder, D, & Anderson, K. (2014). Are depressed individuals more susceptible to cognitive dissonance? Current Research in Social Psychology, 22(5), 10-19.


Ellie Aronson

Headshot Photo of Student Ellie Aronson

Advisors: Margaret Kovera, Kelly McWilliams,

Dual Specialization in BASP and Psych and Law

Research Interests: I’m interested in exploring how social psychology can inform  attorney, eyewitness, and juror decision-making. For example, how do lineup administrators transmit subtle behavioral cues to eyewitnesses? How do prosecutors use motivated reasoning processes to justify unethical behavior (e.g., Brady Violations)? How might jurors be swayed by dramatic in-court identification procedures?

Recent publications and presentations:

Conti, K., Aronson, E., & McWilliams, K. (2022, March). Children’s ability to answer WH-questions about body movement and clothing placement. Poster presented at the annual American Psychology-Law Society Conference.

Aronson, E., Fessinger, M., McAuliff, B., & McWilliams, K. (2021, March). How do jurors react when child witnesses say “I don’t know?”: The Broader Effects of the “Don’t Know” Instruction. Poster presented at the annual American Psychology-Law Society Conference, held remotely.

Kovera, M.B., & Aronson, E. (In press). Eyewitness Identifications. In Verona, E., & Fox, B., (Eds.), Handbook of Evidence-Based Criminal Justice Practices. Routledge.

Nikoleta Despodova

Headshot Photo of Nikoleta Despodova

Advisors: Margaret Bull-Kovera, Michael Leippe

Dual Specialization in BASP and Psych and Law

Research interests: My main interest pertains to research that aims to increase our understanding of jury decision-making. More specifically, I am interested in the effects of cross-examination and witness testimony on jurors' reasoning.

Recent publications and presentations:

Despodova, N., Perillo, J., Clatch, L., Teitcher, J., & Kovera, M. (2015, March). Effects of adversarial allegiance influence on the quality of reasoning displayed in expert evaluations. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychology and Law Society, San Diego, CA

Perillo, J., Despodova, N., & Kovera, M. (2015, March). Attorney preferences for experts under adversarial and concurrent expert testimony conditions. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychology and Law Society, San Diego, CA


Jaclyn Doherty

Headshot Photo of Student Jaclyn Doherty

Advisors: Claudia Brumbaugh, Cheryl Carmichael

Research interests: My interests involve interpersonal and intergroup processes in religious contexts, including the relationships and interactions between people of different religious and secular affiliations. I primarily explore romantic relationships with religious differences (affiliation, religiosity, etc.), as well as stereotype threat among religious people in scientific settings.

Recent publications and presentations:

Doherty, J. K., & Brumbaugh, C. C. (in press). Romantic love. In Al-Shawaf, L., & Shackelford, T. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Evolution and the Emotions. Oxford University Press.

Hoogeveen, S., Sarafoglou, A., et al. (2022). A many analysts approach to the relation between religiosity and well-being. Religion, Brain & Behavior.

Doherty, J. K., Carmichael, C. L. (2022, July). Disclosing meaningful religious experiences in close relationships. Flash talk presentation accepted for the International Association for Relationship Research Conference, Virtual.

Doherty, J. K., & Brumbaugh, C. C. (2022, February). Interfaith romantic attraction among Christian and Jewish participants. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Melanie Fessinger

Headshot Photo of Student Melanie Fessinger

Advisors: Margaret Kovera, Kelly McWilliams

Research interests: My main research interests focus on interactions between legal professionals and laypeople, with an emphasis on when those interactions lead to waivers of constitutional rights (e.g., plea bargains, Miranda waivers). More generally, my research interests fall at the intersection of social psychology and law. I have conducted research on a variety of psycholegal topics, including jailhouse informants, child witnesses, problem-solving courts, eyewitness identification, and juror decision making.

Recent publications and presentations:

Fessinger, M.B., Bornstein, B.H., Neuschatz, J.S., DeLoach, D., Hillgartner, M.A., Wetmore, S.A., & Bradfield Douglass, A. (in press). Informants v. Innocents: Informant testimony and its contribution to wrongful convictions. Capital University Law Review. 

Fessinger, M.B., Hazen, K.P., Bahm, J., Cole-Mossman, J., Heideman, R.J., & Brank, E.M. (2019). Mandatory, fast, and fair: Case outcomes and procedural justice in a family drug court. Journal of Experimental Criminology, (), 1-29.


Grace Flores-Robles

Headshot Photo of Student Grace Flores-Robles

Advisors: Ana Gantman, Virginia Valian

Research interests: My research explores the factors that make people see and challenge systemic injustice. I investigate this in several contexts, including workplace hierarchies, gender schemas, and labor organizing.

Recent publications and presentations:

Flores-Robles, G., Gantman, A.P. (forthcoming). Love vs. money: Understanding unique challenges in care workers’ labor organizing. In Matthew Lindauer (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Political Philosophy. [preprint]

Godbole, M. A., Flores‐Robles, G., Malvar, N. A., & Valian, V. V. (2022). Who do you like? Who will you vote for? Political ideology and person perception in the 2020 US presidential election. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

Flores-Robles, G. (2022, May). Seeing and sanctioning system-level injustice. [Talk]. The Group for Empirical Approaches to Morality and Society (GEMS), NYC.

Flores-Robles, G. & Jones, D.N. (2022, February). Perceptions of necessity deprivation drives poor prospective job commitment. [Poster presentation]. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA

Flores-Robles, G., & Gantman, A. (2022, February). Can you put a price on care? The role of fear of commodification in support for care workers’ labor organizing. [Poster presentation]. SPSP Gender Preconference, San Francisco, CA.

Email:; Twitter: @gfloresrob

Alison Goldberg

Headshot Photo of Student Alison Goldberg

Advisor: Sarit Golub, Catherine Good

Research interests: My main research interest is the intersection of social stigma and sexual and reproductive health. Specifically, I am interested in women's perceptions of sexual agency, and the ways in which sex education can mitigate gender- and sexuality-based stigma. 

Recent publications and presentations:

Price, D. M., Fikslin, R. A., Goldberg, A. J., Gesselman, A. N., Loubriel, J. C., & Brooks, J. (2020). Sexual orientation and differences in HIV cognition. Personality and Individual Differences, 152, 109531.

Goldberg, A.J. & Wilkins, C.L. (2016, January). Jewish phenotypic prototypicality and religious identification.Talk presented at the 17th Annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology Convention, San Diego, CA


Bryant Gomez

Headshot Photo of Student Bryant Gomez

Advisors: Catherine Good, Sarit Golub

Research interests: My research broadly looks at educational inequities and perceptions of racial-ethnic identity and social support. Specifically, I am interested in how cultural norms and support affect identity, belonging, and guilt in academic environments.

Recent presentations:

Gomez, B.G. (2022). Re-evaluating Support in Honors Scholar Programs among First Generation & BIPOC College Students. New Ideas Flash Talk presented at the Six College Conference, Online session.

Email:; Twitter: @Bryant_Gomez1

Ricky Granderson

Headshot Photo of Student Ricky Granderson

Advisors: Cheryl Carmichael, Danielle Berke

Research interests: Ricky’s research explores the boundaries of acceptable intimate touch behaviors within heterosexual men’s homosocial friendships—as well as the cues, rewards, and punishments driving these experiences of platonic physical touch. This work is part of Ricky’s broader research agenda, which seeks to investigate intimate homosocial friendship as a mechanism by which contemporary men (mainly heterosexual, cisgender white men) can build community and pro-socially adapt to the rapid changes in status, power, acceptable limits of behavior, and understandings of men/masculinity; changes they currently seem to be struggling to adapt to, as evidenced by concordant increases in negative psychosocial outcomes (e.g., alienation, loneliness, suicide, alcoholism, political radicalization). This emphasis on the connection between gendered behaviors and psychosocial outcomes is informed by Ricky’s experiences at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where he earned his M.P.H. working alongside Dr. Gary Harper exploring the intersection of masculinity, sexual behavior, and mental health outcomes.

Recent publications and presentations:

Wong, Y. J., Granderson, R. M., Zounlome, N. O. O., McCullough, K. M., Hyman, J. E., & Schwabe, S. B. (2020). The assessment of subjective masculine norms in the United States. Psychology of Men and Masculinities. doi:

Fields, E. L., Long, A., Bademosi, K., Granderson, R., Schumacher, C. M., Chandran, A., Kingon, Y., & Jennings, J. M. (2020). Identifying Community-Informed Language to Promote HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Black LGBTQ Communities in Baltimore. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education32(2), 152–168.

Granderson, R. M., Harper, G. W., Wade, R., Odero, W., Olwango, D. P. O., & Fields, E. L. (2019). Gender role strain and the precarious manhood of sexual minority Kenyan men. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

Fields, E., Long, A., Bademosi, K., Granderson, R., Schumacher, C., Chandran, A., ... & Jennings, J. (2019). 195.# Projectpresence: highlighting racial/ethnic minority LGBTQ communities through photo exhibitions to reduce stigma. Journal of Adolescent Health64(2), S99-S100.

Harper, G. W., Jadwin-Cakmak, L. A., Popoff, E., Campbell, B. A., Granderson, R., Wesp, L. M., & Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. (2019). Transgender and other gender-diverse youth’s progression through the HIV continuum of care: socioecological system barriers. AIDS Patient Care and STDs33(1), 32-43. 


Jacqueline Katzman

Headshot Photo of Student Jacqueline Katzman

Advisor: Margaret Kovera, Steve Penrod

Dual Specialization in BASP and Psych and Law

Research interests: My research broadly focuses on eyewitness identification and jury decision making. Specifically, I am interested in the reasons why suspects are placed in identification procedures, how in-court identifications might bias a jury, and jurors’ perceptions of juvenile defendants. I hope to one day help legal professionals to use findings from psychological research to create a more informed justice system.


Miri Lieber

Headshot Photo of Student Miri Lieber

Advisors: Margaret Kovera, Kelly McWilliams

Dual Specialization in BASP and Psych and Law

Research interests: My research interests focus on the psychological processes that underpin legal decision-making, particularly grand jury indictment decisions. More broadly, I am also interested in exploring consequentiality and external validity in psycho-legal research.


Annalisa Myer

Headshot Photo of Student Annalisa Myer

Advisors: Daryl Wout, Ana Gantman

Research interests: My research examines the racial, ethnic and class-based diversification of our social networks (our neighborhoods and organizations, for instance). Broader themes include interracial interactions, intersectionality, and perceptions of Biracial people. 

Recent publications and presentations: 

Azevedo, F., Pavlović, T., Rêgo, G. G. d., Ay, F. C., Gjoneska, B., Etienne, T., Myer, A.… Sampaio, W. M. (2022). Social and moral psychology of COVID-19 across 69 countries.

Myer, A. (2022). On Intersectionality and Scientific Rigor: Addressing the Grand Challenges of Psychological Science. Talk accepted to the CUNY Research Day Conference.

Myer, A. (2022). Et Tu, Biracials? Examining U.S. Black-White Biracials’ Racial Neighborhood Preferences. New ideas flash talk accepted to the 6CC Conference.

Myer, A. (2022). The Politics of Identity. Talk presented at St. Norbert College.

Van Bavel, J. J., Cichocka, A., Capraro, V., Sj˚astad, H., Nezlek, J. B., Pavlovi´c, T., Alfano, M., Gelfand, M. J., ... Myer, A .....& Boggio, P. S. (2021). National identity predicts public health support during a global pandemic. Nature Communications, 13(1), 1-14. Featured in the Editors’ Highlights webpage as one of the 50 best papers recently published in Social Sciences.



Madeline Nickel

Headshot Photo of Student Madeline Nickel

Advisors: Demis Glasford, Catherine Good

Research interests: My research interests include intergroup relations with a particular focus on achieving social justice for racial groups that are discriminated against. I am also interested in studying how racial stereotypes, prejudice, and societal structures continually serve as barriers to racial equity. I am excited to work on strategies to reduce racial discrimination while fostering harmonious intergroup relations, and to explore research questions related to collective action, protests, and social movements.

Recent publications and presentations:

Nickel, M., & Glasford, D. From injustice to inaction: The role of worldview threat in dampening collective action. Data Blitz presented at: 2022 Six College Conference; 2022 May 13; Virtual.

Nickel, M., & Glasford, D. When does reading about social injustice elicit worldview threat?. Poster presented at: 2022 Annual Meeting for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology; 2022 February 16-19; San Francisco, CA.

 Nickel, M., & Glasford, D. Worldview confirmation and the dampening of collective action. Talk presented at: 2021 Annual Meeting for the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues; 2021 August 2-5; Virtual.

 Nickel, M., & Kawakami, K. The impact of perceived racial bias on face processing. Poster presented at: 2020 Annual Meeting for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology; 2020 February 27-29; New Orleans, LA.


Andre Oliver

Headshot Photo of Student Andre Oliver

Advisors: Daryl Wout, Catherine Good

Research interests: My research is broadly centered on prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping. However, my more recent interests are in perceptions of Biracial individuals and intra-minority relationships. In the past my research has focused on Black identity, stereotype threat, and examining how racial colorblind beliefs can impact attentional processing, both behaviorally (attention paradigms) and psychophysiologically (ERPs). All of my research is driven by a strong passion for research and social justice.

Recent publications and presentations:

Oliver, A., Ghilamichael, A., King, C. R., Wallace, L., McDougal, S., Monteiro K., & Ben-Zeev, A. (2017). ‘I’m Black and I’m proud’: A majority ecological context protects affective aspects of Black identity under stereotype threat. Race and Social Problems, 9, 313-320.


Ryan Tracy

Headshot Photo of Student Ryan Tracy

Advisors: Steven Young, Ana Gantman

Research interests: Broadly, my research explores how we make sense of our social worlds. In doing so, I employ three lines of study. First, I explore how bottom-up perceptual information (e.g., face-based trait cues) and top-down social information (e.g., group membership) interact in the service of impression formation. Second, I explore how the perceptual fluency of visual information influences the impressions we form of others. Third, I examine people’s cognitive representations of character traits in another’s face and whether these representations are moderated by the social categories into which we place others.

Recent publications and presentations:

Tracy, R. E., Wilson, J. P., Slepian, M. L., & Young, S. G. (2020). Facial trustworthiness predicts ingroup inclusion decisions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 91, 104047.

Young, S. G., Tracy, R. E., Wilson, J. P., Rydell, R. J., & Hugenberg, K. (2019). The temporal dynamics of the link between configural face processing and dehumanization. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 85, 103883.


Matthew Vanaman

Headshot Photo of Student Matthew Vanaman

Advisor: Ana Gantman

Research interests: The last decade or so has seen theoretical debates arise at the heart of moral psychology. An important one is centered on the question "what is the structure of morality?" Many researchers believe that morality is "modular" - that is, there is more than one path to wrongness. Critics posit that all morality comes down to harm. More specifically, moral transgressions are perceived to create victims, and moral rules of all kinds exist to reduce victimhood. This divide fascinates me, and my current research is concerned primarily with bringing clarity and resolution to this divide.

Recent publications and presentations:

Vanaman, M., & Crysel, L. (2017). Liberalism. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences (pp. 1–3). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Vanaman, M.E., Leggett, M.P., Crysel, L, & Askew, R.L. (2019). A novel measure of the need for moral cognition. Basic and Applied Social Psychology.

Vanaman, M., Crysel, L., Askew, R.L. (2017). Who’s to Blame? Evidence of In-Group Prejudice Among the Homeless. Under review at the Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.


Carly Wolfer

Headshot Photo of Student Carly Wolfer

Advisor: Cheryl Carmichael

Research interests: My research uses a feminist, sex-positive lens to explore the multi-level barriers and facilitators to sexual and relational wellness. Specifically, I investigate how individual (e.g. attachment style, gender identity and expression), interpersonal (e.g. communication, responsiveness, touch), and socio-cultural (e.g. sexual and romantic scripts, gender norms, stigma) factors support or stifle sexual pleasure equity, relationship functioning, and health in casual and committed relationship structures across the lifespan. Ultimately, I am passionate about developing socio-emotional and sex education programming aimed at optimizing sexual and relational well-being among diverse individuals and relationships who have been historically muted in discourses of desire.

Recent publications and presentations:

Wolfer, C., Tilove, A., Sizemore, K.M., Rendina, H. J., Wells, B., Golub, S. (2020, November). Experimentation in emerging adulthood and alcohol expectancies regarding sexual vulnerability: Testing a three-way interaction with gender and sexual orientation. Paper presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) 2020 Global Sex Research Virtual Conference.

Sizemore, M., Wolfer, C., Gray, S., Talan, A., Park, H., & Rendina, H. J. (2020, April). Adapting a positive affect intervention for mobile delivery: Development of the Positively Healthy ecological momentary intervention. Paper accepted for presentation at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Francisco, CA.

Millar, B.M., Wolfer, C., Shalhav, O., Talan, A., Rendina, H. J. (2019, September). Sleep: Fuel for good mood, self-efficacy, and medication adherence among older men living with HIV. Poster presented at The European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Wolfer, C., Ake, J., English, T. (2019, November). Gender and communication as predictors of sexual health and satisfaction in the college hookup culture. Poster presented at The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Wolfer, C. (2018). "Let's Talk about Sex, Baby: Communication between Casual Sexual Partners in the College Hookup Culture". Washington University Senior Honors Thesis Abstracts: WUSHTA, Spring 2018. 138.