I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University, and also Program Coordinator for the Middle Eastern Studies/Arabic program in the Kennedy Center for International Studies.
As a political psychologist, I conduct research exploring the the micromotives of interpersonal and intergroup aggression, with a focus on identifying tools for prejudice reduction. My current research focuses on the role of affect and emotion in motivating change and on the use of artificial intelligence, in particular large-scale language models, to explore human psychology.
PhD in Political Science, 2011
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies–Political Science, 2005
University of Utah
Fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA), 2003-2004
American University in Cairo, Egypt
B.A. in Near Eastern Studies–Arabic, 2002
Brigham Young University
In this project, we highlight affect’s key role in motivation and develop a new theory of mixed affective states. We show its importance in understanding political outcomes…
Is empathetic media effective in shifting readers’ attitudes toward refugee policies? Do emotional responses differ between individuals who are exposed to accounts of refugees with different religions and national origins? To shed light on these questions, we present the results of two recent survey experiments conducted in the United Kingdom to explore these questions…
Politicians and social activists frequently employ media designed to ``change hearts and minds” by humanizing outgroups. These messages, it is assumed, lead to empathy, which motivates individuals to reconsider punitive policy attitudes…
This recently NSF-funded project explores the use of artificial intelligence, in particular large-scale language models like GPT-3, to study human psychology. The first paper in this project…
This paper introduces a measure created in social psychology for other purposes that we suggest measures one of the key processes motivating outgroup discrimination, and as such should explain variation in individuals’ standing tendencies to oppose outgroups. The measure we propose is a measure of an individual’s Self-Image Maintenance Motivation (SIMM)….