Research Orientation
My research utilizes multi-level and comparative frameworks in the study of culture, social networks, and interpersonal interaction, exploring how micro- and macro-level social structures coalesce to inform social behavior and emotional experience. I take a social psychological perspective rooted in the structural symbolic interactionist tradition, wherein the self is comprised of and defined by its multiple role memberships. This heritage is manifest in my use of affect control theory, a control system model of cultural meaning maintenance, social behavior, and emotion. Methodologically, I am a quantitative researcher and primarily collect my own data using survey and experimental methods. I also employ simulation techniques, based upon affect control equations for impression formation, to formulate hypotheses and test new ideas. My work is characterized by interdisciplinary and multi-level approaches to theory and method. While my undergraduate and early graduate training were in social and cross-cultural psychology, the analytical and conceptual foci of my research have remained consistent, emphasizing social context and cultural variation. My experiences in two disciplines have bolstered my interest in and capacity for conducting research that bridges the two social psychologies.

Primary Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my intellectual interests lie at the intersection of social networks and the social psychology of identity, culture, and emotion. I also have training in economic sociology, which serves my interests in status, inequality, and social capital. My dissertation research examined social position, connectedness, and influence as structural predictors of societal variability in cultural meaning. I have prepared two sole-authored manuscripts based on this research: The first, which uses the survey portion of my research to explore the predictors of cultural stratification, has recently been submitted to American Sociological Review for peer review. The second, which is based on the experimental portion of my research, will be an invited publication in Volume 32 of Advances in Group Processes. I have recently published two studies on stereotype content, which explore behavioral and emotional responses to stereotyped groups, and compare sentiments toward stereotyped groups in three societies (U.S., Germany, and Japan). One of these manuscripts was published at Social Psychology Quarterly; the other was published at Group Processes and Intergroup RelationsA third manuscript, published at Emotion Review, presents new arguments that unify emotion research across disciplines through consideration of interdependent mechanisms of emotion construction at the cultural, relational, situational, and biological levelThis paper was selected as a focal piece for the issue, and received published peer commentary. 
 
A new manuscript, which proposes a Bayesian generalization of affect control theory (BayesACT), will be under review within the month. BayesACT expands upon affect control theory by accounting for variation and dynamic fluctuation in identity meanings during social interaction, showing how stable patterns of interaction can emerge from uncertain perceptions of identities, and allowing for gradual meaning change through social experience. A manuscript exploring emotional responses to perceptions of injustice in social interaction will also be under review within the next few weeks. Other manuscripts in preparation explore the core mechanisms of impression formation and change in cultural meaning. My collaborators have acquired funding for this research from organizations like the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. My doctoral dissertation research was funded by the National Science Foundation and a Duke University research fellowship. For more information about my research, please refer to my Curriculum Vitae.