Welcome to the Pomona Social Cognition & Interaction Lab

Work in our lab uses behavioral science methods and theories to explore how group memberships shape how we think about, interact with, and relate to others and the world around us. Much of our research is guided by two main questions: 1) How do group processes impact how we perceive and respond to local and global sustainability challenges, like climate change? and 2) how can a deeper understanding of these processes promote informed and equitable decision making? To explore these questions, we use a variety of methods, including lab and field experiments, probability-based surveys, and both quantitative and qualitative approaches.


SCI Lab News!

  • New SCI Lab findings, with collaborators at Cornell, Purdue, and Yale, show that minorities and lower-income groups in the US conceptualize environmental issues differently than whites and higher-income groups, an outgrowth of work done in collaboration with community organizations in San Antonio. See coverage here
  • Former SCI Lab members Rachel Song, Daniel Choi, and Ana Sabherwal begin PhD programs at U Washington, UCLA Anderson School of Business, and the London School of Economics, and SCI Lab member Corinne Tsai accepted into the MPhil psychology program at Cambridge. Congratulations Rachel, Daniel, Ana, and Corinne!
  • Adam to receive the Society for Environmental, Population, and Conservation Psychology (APA Div. 34) 2020 Early Career Achievement Award
  • Behavioural Public Policy special issue on “Behavioural Climate Policy,” guest-edited with Sander van der Linden and Leaf Van Boven, now in press. Contributions to explore how behavioral science can improve climate policy making (online-first publications to appear fall 2020)
  • Research with collaborators at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, synthesizing over a decade of nationally representative data, shows that both education and income exacerbate political polarization on climate change within the US. See coverage and highlights here
  • Nature Sustainability expert panel synthesis report, “Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability,” now released on how behavioral scientists, engineers, and architects can work together to enhance sustainability in the built environment, co-organized by the Center for Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative at UVA. See editorial highlights and commentary
  • New research with Jon Schuldt, Rainer Romero-Canyas, Matt Ballew, and Dylan Larson-Konar, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows the US public substantially underestimates the environmental concerns of vulnerable populations (minorities and low-income Americans), an effect we term the environmental belief paradoxSee commentary in Nature Climate Change, Behavioral Scientist, and PNAS for highlights
  • Adam elected Fellow of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Div. 9)
  • SCI Lab member Vivianna Plancarte publishes op-ed on why residents in California’s Imperial Valley, one of the most vulnerable regions in the U.S., may underestimate support for climate education and action planning, and what can be done about it
  • SCI Lab findings on low diversity in the climate sciences featured on NPR’s Take Two in an interview with Al Gore on the next generation of climate activism and public engagement
  • Special issue, “Climate Change and Intergroup Relations,” co-edited with Jon Schuldt, with an Introduction presenting a research agenda for advancing the study of climate change within social psychology now available.  See coverage of special issue articles in Nature Climate Change and Pacific Standard
  • Matt Ballew accepts a postdoc at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. Congratulations, Matt!
  • SCI Lab research on the lack of diversity in the environmental sciences, and its implications for public health, featured in Grist, Mother Jones, and Salon
  • New review with Matt Ballew, Sarah Naiman, and Jon Schuldt shows political polarization on climate change is growing, but not among groups most vulnerable to environmental impacts (minorities and lower-income Americans). See coverage of this work by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
  • Adam elected Fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology
  • SCI Lab partners with TIME Labs and the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab to explore Americans’ beliefs about the consensus views of others. See results of our survey on public perceptions about gun safety here