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Out of the Lab

Out of the Lab

Join us for in-depth conversations with some of the stars of our field. Hear about their career paths, their research, and the unexpected joys and challenges along the way.

2019: Laura King

Dr. Laura King is a Curators' Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. She is editor-in-chief of Perspectives on Psychological Science and previously served as the editor of the third section of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Journal of Research in Personality. Dr. King has made key research contributions in a wide range of topic areas across personality and social psychology, including goal strivings, lay conceptualizations of the good life, maturity, coping and growth through trauma, individual differences in cognitive processing styles, well-being judgments, and the experience of meaning in life. She has also been the recipient of numerous grants and awards supporting and recognizing her work, including the 2018 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality.

Interviewed by Dr. Samantha Heintzelman, Rutgers University

2018: Brenda Major

Dr. Brenda Major holds the rank of Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. There, she directs the Self and Social Identity Lab which explores psychological resilience—the personality characteristics and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral strategies that enable people to maintain their sense of self-esteem and well-being as they cope with prejudice, discrimination, devalued social identities, and stressful life events. Dr. Major has authored over 175 articles and chapters, and co-edited two books, most recently the Oxford Handbook of Stigma, Discrimination, and Health published in 2017. Dr. Major has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for this work. Notably, not one, not two, but THREE Gordon Allport Prizes from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) for her work exploring gender and behavior (with Kay Deaux), the psychological implications of organizational diversity structures (with Cheryl Kaiser), and perhaps her most well-known work exploring stigma and self-esteem (with Jenny Crocker) which also received the Scientific Impact Prize from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. Finally, in recognition of her contributions to psychology over the course of her career (to date), Dr. Major is also a proud recipient of the Kurt Lewin Award from SPSSI, and the Donald T. Campbell Prize from SPSP.

Interviewed by Dr. Keith Maddox, Tufts University

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