Social psychology

Social Program Graduate Students


Kenneth R. Cabell

B.A., Psychology, Clark University, 2011.

Faculty advisor: Jaan Valsiner, Nicola Curtin

Kenneth R. Cabell is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow working within the sub-discipline of semiotic cultural psychology. Generally, his research interests focus on the cultural organization of human psychological functioning and experience. Specifically, his theoretical and methodological interests focus on developing a framework to better identify the mechanisms by which individuals make their experiences meaningful. His empirical interests focus on experiences of entrapment and other trapping phenomena. He is the Editorial Director of Culture & Psychology (Sage) and he is an editor of Psychology & Society. In addition to editing the book The Catalyzing Mind: Beyond Models of Causality (Springer) he is also an editor of the book series Annals of Cultural Psychology (Information Age Publishing). While at Clark University, he has been able to work closely with international researchers and scholars in the Kitchen Seminar Network as well as with the Niels Bohr Professorship Center of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark.

Maggie Campbell-Obaid

M.A., Social Psychology, Clark University, 2012; B.A., Psychology with a concentration in Human Services and Minor in English, Framingham State University, 2009.

Faculty advisor: Johanna Ray Vollhardt

Maggie has a wide range of research interests involving the areas of peace, violence, and social responsibility. Currently, she is conducting dissertation work looking at the relationship between religious beliefs, orientations to religion, and support for intergroup violence versus peace. She has also been working on research related to the conceptions of good and evil; including how people develop beliefs about good and evil, and how these beliefs relate to people’s political and social opinions. Other research interests include the psychology of genocide, moral reasoning, and political media and decision-making.

Justin Laplante

M.A., Psychology, University of West Georgia, 2012; B.A., Psychology, Muhlenberg College, 2009.

Faculty advisor: James Córdova (clinical program faculty)

Justin is a doctoral student in the developmental psychology program at Clark, with interests in both social and developmental psychology. His main research focus is on moral and religious identity development in different religious traditions and denominations, from both a quantitative and qualitative approach. His current project involves data from the Measuring Morality survey, specifically investigating the ways in which ethical values differ by culture and across the lifespan.

Lucas B. Mazur

M.A., Psychology, New School for Social Research; M.A. Sociology, Jagiellonian University (Poland); B.A., Philosophy/Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh.

Faculty advisor: Johanna Ray Vollhardt

Lucas is interested in victim consciousness and the dynamics of social conflict between ethnic, national and religious groups. His research aims to explain variations in the degree to which prosocial attitudes and behaviors arise between victimized groups that acknowledge similarities within the shared category of “victimized peoples.” He is also working on perceptions of victim prototypicality as well as stereotype transformation over the course of sustained collective violence and genocide.

Rashmi Nair

M.Sc., Clinical Psychology, Christ College (India), 2007; B.A., Psychology, English Literature, and Journalism, Bangalore University (India), 2005.

Faculty advisor: Johanna Ray Vollhardt

Rashmi’s research employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to highlight several issues related to the social psychology of members from disadvantaged minorities. Her past projects have examined topics including the different perceptions of collective victimization among members of disadvantaged groups and how these shape their relations with other groups. Her doctoral work examines relations between the Dalits (so-called “lower” castes; formerly known as "untouchables") and Muslims in India. Specifically, she employs an intersectional framework to get a nuanced understanding of the social psychological and structural factors that can explain tensions between these disadvantaged communities as well as those that can help bring them closer.

Mukadder Okuyan

Faculty advisor: Nicola Curtin

Joseph R. Schwab

M.A., Psychology, Clark University, 2011; B.A., Psychology, University of Cincinnati, 2006.

Faculty advisor: Jeffrey Arnett

Joe is a doctoral student in developmental psychology at Clark and often collaborates with the social program. His main research interests include the development of identity, concepts of self, and religious and spiritual beliefs, specifically focusing on how these concepts are constructed through narratives. He is currently working on a project investigating the construction of spiritual and existential identities in emerging adults.

Julia Tran

B.A., Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2012.

Faculty advisor: Nicola Curtin

Broadly speaking, Julia’s research interests include the psychology of activism, feminist psychology, and intergroup relations. She is currently interested in examining factors that predict activism for 1st, 1.5, and 2nd generation Asian Americans.

Michelle Twali

M.Sc., Psychology, University of Utah, 2013; B.A., Psychology and Political Science, University of Ghana, 2008.

Faculty advisor: Johanna Vollhardt

Michelle is generally interested in politically-motivated intergroup conflict and violence. She is currently working on a project examining the social psychological processes of acknowledging past mass atrocities.

Visiting Students in 2014/15