Principal investigator


Kyle Ratner [email]

Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara

     Postdoc, The Ohio State University

     PhD, New York University

     BA, Cornell University

Kyle investigates how biological systems interact with social contexts to influence perceptions of the self and others. He is particularly interested in processes that give rise to intergroup reactions and the consequences of these reactions for social relations and individual well-being.

Postdoctoral researcher

Locke Welborn [email]

SAGE Junior Research Fellow, UC Santa Barbara

     PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

     BA, Yale University

Locke is interested in the neural mechanisms that facilitate how people think about specific, well-known others. He is also interested in the way antecedent social representations and motivational commitments shape our perceptions of individual and group attitudes and attributes.

Graduate students

Youngki Hong [email]

1st year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Kyle Ratner

     BS, University of Minnesota

Youngki is particularly interested in the role of social identity in stereotyping and prejudice. His interests also include embodied cognition, face perception, and the role of personality and culture in social behavior.

Amanda Kaczmarek [email]

1st year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Kyle Ratner

     BS, The Ohio State University

Amanda's research interests focus on moral decision-making and morality as social behavior. She is interested in questions such as what social factors can influence people to shift their moral values and what, if anything, makes a moral value different from other strongly-held beliefs.

582546_643501381056_1687937983_n (2)Jessica Cornick [email]

5th year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Jim Blascovich

     MA, Cal State University, Northridge

     BA, Occidental College

Jessica examines how potentially threatening situations can be constructed such that individuals have reduced biological (cardiovascular, HPA axis) responses. Her current work examines the psychophysiological consequences of self-efficacy perceptions in overweight individuals.

William Ryan [email]

5th year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Jim Blascovich

     BA, Smith College

Will's research explores the psychophysiological dynamics of social threat in relation to homophobia, ‘coming out’, and gender-based self-construal. Will is also interested in psychophysiological methodology and spends a considerable amount of his time working on developing new methods for assessing cardiovascular reactivity.


picPhillip Ehret [email]

4th year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara     

     Primary advisor: David Sherman

     BA, University of Southern California

Phil's specific research interests center on why people persistently engage in maladaptive behaviors such as excessive drinking, or why people choose to avoid potentially beneficial information. He is also interested in using the self and social identities to close the intention-behavior gap in the health and environmental domains. 

Espino-Perez - Lab PicKathy Espino-Perez [email]

3rd year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Brenda Major

     MA, Cal State University, Northridge

     BA, Cal State University, Northridge

Kathy is interested in a) how interracial distrust affects Latinos’ physiological and psychological adjustment during college, b) the costs and benefits of possessing a reflexive racial identity, c) the motivational processes that influence racial categorization, and d) minority health.

Megan_ReedMegan Reed [email]

3rd year PhD student, UC Santa Barbara

     Primary advisor: Diane Mackie

     BA, University of California, Davis

Megan studies implicit interpersonal influence as it applies to perception, media, and culture. Her current work explores how the presence of others can bias our evaluations without our awareness or intention. 

Social Perception Lab • Psychological & Brain Sciences • University of California, Santa Barbara •  © 2014 The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved.