Social/Personality Department

Social-Personality Faculty and their Research Interests

Dr. Chris Barlett’s recent research interests focus on the prediction and reduction of aggressive and violent behavior, including personality and situational factors that can individually and interactively predict aggression. Recent work has focused on understanding the predictors of cyberbullying, and focused interventions.

Chris Barlett (e-mail:


Dr. Natalie Barlett’s research explores how movement through emerging adulthood (18-25 years of age) can impact one’s personality (e.g., narcissism), psychological well-being (e.g., worry) and physical health (e.g., sleep) and identifying factors that support emerging adults during their transitional journey (e.g., positive friendships, quality mentorship).

Natalie Barlett (e-mail:


Dr. Laura Brannon’s recent research interests include: (a) applied persuasion research in domains such as health and consumer behavior, (b) compliance with medical recommendations, and (c) cognitive factors mediating the effectiveness of persuasion techniques.

Laura Brannon (e-mail:


Dr. Carrie Lane’s research interests cover how physical contact (hugging) is related to things such as attachment styles, gender, and physical and mental health. Other research interests include social influence and relationships, the function (and gender differences in) behaviors like adult crying, tickling, and swearing.



Dr. Donald Saucier’s research interests include: (a) the measurement and reduction of prejudice, (b) the examination of attitudes toward social and political policy issues potentially related to prejudice (e.g., hate crime legislation, affirmative action, same-sex marriage), and (c) the individual differences related to resistance to persuasion and attitude challenges (e.g., social vigilantism).

Donald Saucier (phone: 785-532-6881, e-mail:


Dr. David Schmitt’s research interests focus on personality and mental health differences across genders, cultures, and historical time periods. Diverse intersections of the many dimensions of gender/sex, gender roles, and sexual orientations, with a particular focus on how gender impacts sexual health & well-being all around the world.



Dr. Jennifer Smith’s research interests include how family and romantic relationships are impacted and moderated by technology use. How people are creating intimacy with Artificial Intelligence applications. Integrative developmental research through a lens of contextualism.