Current Graduate Students

DSC_2344Andrea (Ande) Bellovary

Research Interests:

  • Intergroup Relations
  • White Identity and Threat Perception
  • System Legitimacy and Perception
  • Political Decision Making


Ellen Lab Photo Ellen Dulaney

Major areas of interest:
  •    Essentialist beliefs about the self
  •    Reactions to self-congruent and -incongruent behavior
  •    True self-concept
Fulfillment of existential needs:
  •    Meaning-making and choice of meaning structures
  •    Motivations for authenticity


Kara Harris 

Research Interests:

  • Colorism and Police Brutality
  • White Entitlement
  • STEM Identity


Laurette McIlwee Laurette McIlwee 

Research Interests:

  • Relationship Maintenance
    • Forgiveness
    • Gratitude
  • Person Perception
  • Affective Forecasting
  • Unwanted Relationships


Andrea Sanders  Andrea Sanders

Research Interests:

  • Threats to the Self
    • Cognitive dissonance
    • Control
  • Social inclusion & empathy
  • Impression management/Self-monitoring


Nathan Young Nathan Young 

Research Interests:

My research interests include emotion and stress and how they interact with cognitive processes to influence decision making. I am interested in how specific emotions effect decision making differently. For example, anger and fear which are both negative emotions have an influence on decision making in opposite ways.


Alumni and Affiliates

psych web picOr’Shaundra (“O.B”) Benson (Alumni)

My program of research has broadly focused on understanding the role that stereotypes and social identity play in intergroup relationships and behavior.”


Mark1.1Mark Brandt (Alumni)

“The overarching goal of my research program is to understand how ideological and moral beliefs, such as political ideology, religious fundamentalism, and moral conviction, structure attitudes and behaviors.

I try to answer two basic questions with my research program: What are the causes and consequences of ideological and moral beliefs and why do people adopt certain beliefs?”

Mark Brandt graduated from DePaul in 2012 with a PhD in Experimental Psychology. He is currently teaching the Dutch at Tilburg University.

Email Research | Website


mikeMichael Brubacher (Alumni)

Major Areas of Interest:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Moral Psychology
  • Ecology

Michael graduated from DePaul in 2014, with a PhD in Experimental Psychology. He is currently doing a post doc in South Africa.


pjcropPJ Henry (Lab Affiliate)

PJ Henry is an associate professor in social psychology at New York University – Abu Dhabi, studying prejudice and intergroup relations with a focus on the effects of prejudice and discrimination on individuals. While prejudice is typically studied in the United States through the lens of the African-American experience, he is ultimately interested in the commonalities across different forms of prejudice, both in its expression and its experience. His current focus is on developing his theory of stigma compensation, which considers the general principles of the psychological consequences of being a victim of prejudice.  PJ’s research has taken him across the world: In addition to his current position in Abu Dhabi, he has held a faculty position at the American University of Beirut and spent a year as a Humboldt research fellow at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Theater from the University of Wisconsin, a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from UCLA. In addition he did postdoctoral research at Yale University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. His has been published in a host of professional journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Political Psychology.

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ali photoAli Omair 

Research Interests:

  • Attributions and gender discrimination
  • Ideological beliefs
  • The impact of stereotypes on self and social identity
  • Intergroup relations
  • Analyzing political ideology practices and self-identity—empowerment in the Middle East
  • The applications of social, developmental, and cognitive psychology in education


RustyNew Rusty Steiger

Major Areas of Interest:

  • Moral emotions
  • Moral values
  • Moral judgment
  • Personality traits as predictors of moral values
  • Contempt and Disgust (as they relate to moral judgment and values)
  • Religious and political ideology as predictors of moral values
  • Morality


stan22Stan Treger (Alumni)

In my research, I focus on the foundations of social relationships. Specifically, in much of my work, I have examined the causes and consequences of social connectedness and related phenomena such as relationship initiation and attraction. I am also interested in human sexuality, and have examined topics such as sexual attitudes and reactions to infidelity.
When I’m not doing research, I enjoy the finer things in life, which depends on your definition of “finer.” The things that tickle my fancy are craft beer and coffee, playing music (I’m a loyalist to Fender guitars), traveling (upon my wallet’s ability), and oxford commas.

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Blake PhotoBlake Wareham 

My primary research interests involve topics within the domain of morality, including moral judgment, moral outrage and moral licensing. Specifically, what are some of the cognitive factors that might influence emotional responses to moral violations? Also, I’m interested in the role that political and religious ideological beliefs play on moral behavior and thought.


anthony_washburn_picAnthony Washburn (Alumni)

Anthony N. Washburn is a graduate student in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received a B.A. in Psychology/Religion from Greenville College in 2008 and a M.S. in Psychology from DePaul University in 2013. His research examines the psychological and moral underpinnings of the liberal-conservative divide in American politics. In particular, he is interested in understanding how ideologically motivated reasoning influences people’s judgments and decisions, especially in the realms of attributions for behavior and denial of scientific claims. He is also interested in understanding the causes and consequences of holding attitudes with moral conviction. Specifically, his research examines factors that cause individuals to adjust how morally convicted they feel about certain social issues, persons, or situations

Email  | Website

jeff Geoffrey Wetherell (Alumni)

I am broadly interested in how beliefs and ideologies affect the self and society. I am interested in how stereotypes about social groups affect their treatment in society, and how moral beliefs affect perception, behavior, and support for social policies. Recently, I have become interested in how moral beliefs, as well as actions associated with morality, may be capable of creating a sense of meaningfulness in life.

Email CV | Research


caitlyn yantis Caitlyn Yantis (Alumni)

Caitlyn Yantis is social psychology doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Before starting at UIC, Caitlyn earned a BS with honors in psychology from the University of Mary Washington in 2010 and an MS with distinction in psychology from DePaul University in 2012 working with Dr. Christine Reyna.  Her broad interests involve stereotypes, discrimination, and social justice. At UIC with her advisor, Dr. Courtney Bonam, Caitlyn focuses on the relationship between person-focused and space-focused racial stereotypes and their influence on perceptions and treatment of physical spaces (e.g., homes, schools, neighborhoods).  She is also interested in the role of moral conviction in social justice participation, particularly for issues that are related to one’s racial, ethnic, or gender identity.

Email Research | CV | Website